It stunned me. It came as a total shock. And even though I’ve now seen it, still finding it hard to believe it has actually happened. . . .
~before I continue, let me assure you that I have NOT stopped thinking/praying for Haiti since the quake. my heart is torn over the images, and the thoughts of what they are going through right this minute. Even more personally, my dear friends the Iveys, and the Parkers, each have a son in Haiti waiting to come home. I love them, and love their boys. I ache for them to be able to bring them home……I am totally overwhelmed for each of you who have a tie to people there, or are waiting for news on a loved one. That said, the following is just a glimpse of other news that has rocked me this week (obviously on a much smaller scale). . . .
My Randall’s. By it’s name, it may just sound like any other grocery store to you. I’ll grant you that. But to me, it’s a place where I spent a good deal of my time in the last 31 years. The very same store. With some of the same people I’ve known for these three plus decades. The names and faces of those I’ve shared life with while also supplying a busy household with food and other necessities. I often called it my mission field, however, honestly, I do not know of any life that I witnessed actually getting saved while I was there. I just know it was one of the places where I loved to practice my “loving God and loving others”. I knew them. They knew me.
My Randall’s closed this week. I had stopped by that store Monday after work(just 7 days ago), it’s so convenient as I drive by, it’s on the right side of the street, easy in, easy out. Picked up a few things. As normal as any other time, it seemed. Then Wednesday morning, I hear the news of its closing, and felt so stunned. So shocked. That very morning, they were selling all goods for 50% off. I actually couldn’t bring myself to make it in there. not at least for a few days. I heard tales of shopping nightmares – no carts, lines so long it took 3 hours to check out, etc. I really wasn’t sure I could handle it.
But, yesterday after church, I decided to brave it, and go. I had a check to cash (my bank is inside), and thought I’d see what was left that I could buy. Took my favorite daughter with me. 🙂 Hoping it would help diffuse the pain of seeing my store closing. The sight of armed security outside was my first indication that this trip would be vastly different that any of the others I had experienced. He greeted us, telling us that as of last night, the store was closed. That’s right. I missed it. Done. finished. final. My bank was still open, and I could go in and do my banking. wow. The sight was so sad to this heart who loved this store. Very little on the shelves, and what was left I was told they were packing up for other stores in the city. All my people are gone. I’ve been told they all have jobs at other stores, but I didn’t get to see them one last time. I didn’t get to say good-bye.
I did my banking, then left. Wanting to cry, if I’m totally honest with you. But I knew Sara would make such fun of that. So, we drove across the street to the other store. The one that for years and years I’ve tried to avoid. the one that starts with K. It wasn’t pleasant. I’m not gonna lie to you, this will not be easy. I have so many things in my life changing – a season of lots of changes – I surely did not want this one. Or ask for it. Nor was I prepared for it. But it came all the same. In the matter of a handful of days, this one aspect of my life as I’ve known it my entire adult life changed. I will surely get over it. But I doubt that I will ever find a place like that again. Did I appreciate it while it was here? absolutely. Will I miss knowing where every item is in that beloved store? You know it – as I wandered through another store today, wishing I knew where an item was, I remembered how many people I loved helping through the years in my store that looked a little lost – I’d direct them to whatever they were looking for. I don’t know, I guess I am just missing the simple really. It was home.
So thankful my God does not change.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” That’s really all I need. ever. blessings to you.
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