Once upon a time, not so very long ago (though it seems like a lifetime has passed), it was a simple thing to drive down the hill from the neighbourhood where we live, turn into the strip mall, pick up a few sundries from the pharmacy, and stop in at the grocery store for a couple of things.
Now I add items to growing lists. I turn bottles upside down and eke out the smallest bit of whatever is in them and make due. I did these things to a certain extent before; I do them with more intention now, and put off going out to the store for as long as I can.
When my eyes meet those of another shopper and there’s a moment of connection, I smile bigger underneath my face mask than I would have In the time before. In order for the smile to reach my eyes and be apparent to the other person, I have to. Smiling big, though no one sees it, is good for both of us. I have come to believe it.
There’s no more “running in to the store”. There’s keeping my distance, waiting for someone to move away from the pasta so I can step in and quickly grab what I need so as to not hold up someone else. There’s straining to hear the checkout person who works behind plexiglass and also wears a mask. There’s taking my time.
For almost everything except groceries I prefer to shop online if I can. I weigh convenience against guilt for not supporting local businesses. Delivery trucks pull up in front of our house on a regular basis. Sometimes they ring the doorbell, setting off a chorus of Yorkie barking, other times they leave packages by the front door only to be discovered later when one of us takes the dog out to do some business.
There are fewer opportunities to catch glimpses of the Mystery in day-to-day interaction with other people and the world in general because I stay home most of the time. Or is that true? Maybe I just have to look closer or look different.
So another day dawns on the first day of the second month of this year. We’re inching toward spring when there’s no earthly way not to see the hand of the Divine all around us. For now we pray for eyes and a heart to see. We go slow. We pay more attention.
In these there is wisdom.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 NKJV