Life Interrupted

So here I am again. It’s been a while.

Last year I began volunteering at a new local outreach that helps those in need of assistance as they transition out of homelessness or struggle financially. The outreach efforts are primarily funded by the proceeds of its thrift store. The outreach’s mission to serve those in need with dignity and in a spirit of love, compassion and respect spoke to my heart. The moment I stepped into the thrift shop, I sensed it was a special place. It felt like more of a boutique than what I pictured a thrift store to look like. It was organized, clean, uncluttered, welcoming. The quality of the goods and clothing was excellent, easily taken for brand-new. I knew I wanted to be a part of that story.

I became involved in learning as many aspects of the organization’s workings as possible: sorting donations, displaying in the shop, working the register. One of the most rewarding experiences has been the opportunity to work one on one with a client to facilitate their selection of items for themselves and their family members. Mingling with friendly customers from the local community who come in to shop has also been gratifying. Word is getting out that our shop is a good place to go. We have great stuff at great prices and it supports a great cause. And then there were my fellow volunteers in the work and the two amazing ladies who got the whole thing started. Every single person is in one way or another inspiring, pleasant, friendly, funny, kind. People you want to be around.

Things were going pretty great. It was the right place and the right time for me personally to take something on. And as 2020 rolled in, the organization’s dreams grew bigger and we were about to expand to a second site.

But then came Coronavirus. And everything stopped in its tracks. Here we all are now, watching and waiting in limbo and social distancing, with time on our hands. I’m trying to use this time to catch up on things like cleaning and organizing at home, trying some new recipes, staying in touch more online, getting back to this blog that I’ve neglected for months. I’m also praying more and reflecting on how this extra time could be seen as a gift. I sense it’s an opportunity to take stock of our lives, to experience a slower pace, to live in a less hurried way, to focus on what really matters most, to cultivate a spiritual life.

It’s also a time to face our fears as we face an unknown future. Many of us are anxious and worried. Will we be okay? Will we lose someone we love? Will there be enough to eat? Will my business survive? How will I pay my bills? I don’t know the answers to these pressing questions, but I do know having faith is key. Faith in each other and faith in God. When we comfort ourselves and each other with the much repeated “We’re all in this together” let’s not forget to include God in that mix. He may not magically or miraculously remove the storm. Sometimes we have to get through it to come out stronger and better on the other side. That just seems to be the way we humans are as a race. But He will work with us and through us to bring the comfort and strength we need to deal with it, whatever it is, if we ask Him and let Him.


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