“There are more chickens than a man can know in this world, but an unprovoked kindness is the rarest of birds.” The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead.
I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from church on Sunday. It was busy and showed signs that it was even busier before I got there.
There’s a lot of uncertainty and frayed nerves right now. I imagine the people in the grocery store with me with many reasons to be on edge: the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers and parents trying to figure schools closing, nursing home quarantines, and questions about when it will all end. Everyone is a bit on edge and honestly, rightfully so.
When I was checking out at the grocery store the cashier said to me, “Thank you, you’re the first customer who hasn’t yelled at me.” I don’t want to pretend that I’ve never taken out my frustration on a cashier and neither do I want to pretend I was overly compassionate. This moment reminded me that we are all in this together. The smallest kindness could be the difference between being overcome by despair and surviving this pandemic with our humanity intact.
Didn’t Jesus say something like, “What good is it to survive a pandemic and lose your soul?” (Mark 8:36)