I thought I was doing good by getting there early, before the sun was even up. I wanted more shelf-stable items for the pantry, lentils, dry beans, cans of peas and carrots, etc. There were no limits on canned items, but the selection was definitely thinned and picked over. I’d heard Aldi had limited their canned goods to four per kind, so I didn’t take any more than that.
My cart was still pretty full. I’d also grabbed butter, bacon, and a gallon of milk. My husband suggested looking for regular toilet paper, since our non-storage stash was running low. There were two packs left of the cheapest store brand, each pack having four rolls each. Those were $3.18. They also had individually wrapped rolls you could buy for 88 cents a piece.
Neither one of those seemed like good options to me. Beggars can’t be choosers, and I guess I haven’t yet reached the point of begging. I rolled up to the check-out line and for everybody’s sake I was glad to see they had put up clear shields between the cashiers and customers, that stores seem to be doing the best they can. The girl asked me if I’d found everything alright and I said yes, most of it. She was bagging everything herself and I told her I’d help her, that I knew it was a lot. She sent the cans on down the aisle.
I felt relieved when the whole thing was over. Somehow I felt like I’d taken too much. On my way out of the store I caught glimpse of a bright paper posted on the door, letting customers know that during the covid-19 outbreak, they would be reserving the early morning hours of 6-8AM for their senior citizen customers. Shoot. The sun was now up, and hiding behind my pink fleece mask, I steered my cart away from the main path toward the van. I laughed a little, but only a little. Had it not been been for the elderly, had it not been for a broken rule, had it not been for these entirely new weird situations and experiences, this would’ve been funny.
This is all so painfully self-centered, I know. Yesterday I was having a hard time mentally sorting things out, with not knowing what to think about everything. What is going on with this virus? What is real and what is not? Where is the truth and who are the ones hiding it? Distrust and paranoia could easily reign and drive me into unrest. It’s obvious right now that something has changed. Several people I’ve talked to have mentioned the importance of routine right now. They have their covid-19 routine, and that makes sense. I am responsible for myself and my family, and that is something that hasn’t changed. We have the ten commandments to guide our ways, and the hope of Christ to anchor our hearts. That hasn’t changed.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.