Saturday, March 28, 2020

Free Lunch

Restaurant Tokyo in the Publix plaza on Lee Vista is closed for business, I said, but they are providing free lunches for school aged children Monday through Friday. We should go…

What do you mean ‘we should go’? Those free lunches are meant for people who can’t afford to feed their kids through this craziness. We have plenty of food! reacted my Mr. Ever-Responsible, Never-Take-More-Than-Your-Share husband.

I know. But, I want to go there and show support, both to honor their initiative and effort and give a donation. It’s not about free lunch! They are trying to do their part to serve our community and we need to do what we can to support them! They may have a donation box or something…

Our high-schooler looks up from the phone and offers the best compliment any parent can ever dream of receiving from this age group,

Big brain!, than adds, Maybe it’s going to be sushi…. Yummmmm…

Still not fully convinced but outnumbered, Mr. Responsible watches us leave. We arrive at Tokyo just as the 6 feet spaced out line that had formed started moving.  We hop onto the caboose and wait our turn. The young lady wearing gloves, mask hiding her face hands us the bag. We thank her and ask for a donation box.

She shakes her head, an incredulous, No.

Please… we want to help out. We WANT to support you and what you are doing as a small business in these times. 

I can be very persuasive at times but this time I sense something bigger, something far more noble and generous than few crumpled dollar bills inside my hand pushing me back.   She shakes her head one more time, No, softly, quietly but firmly, immovable like a granite rock.

If you want to support us, you can do that when we reopen, she adds.

‘When’, she said, not ‘if’.

We walk away carrying the bag with free lunch in one hand and donation money in the other. Unnerved because it is more blessed to give than to receive. Undone by the grace and dignity witnessed by no one but us and God. 

I know that we won’t be back tomorrow, but we will be back when it reopens, whenever that may be.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Worst and the Best of Lent

I realize now that, when I said ‘the year of not offering unsolicited advice was the worst’- the ‘worst’ is a rather relative term.

With COVID-19 pandemic, some people may label the Lent 2020 as such.

Some people, however, may see it as the best thing that ever happened to us.

We are still too much in the thick of it to determine whether it’s truly the best or the worst.

But, it makes me think that this crisis, just like everything else in life, is what we - you and I - make of it.

For, it’s in your God-given power and mine, to make it better or to make it worse.

I had this hunch for a long time, substantiated by my experience, that some days the absolutely best choice I can make for myself and everyone around me, including the world at large, is to stay in bed and do nothing.

Some days, it's just better to determine not to accomplish a single thing from my mile-long to-do list. 

Well, now I have not only government mandate but also scientific validation for that hunch.

With the era of self-distancing, isolation and quarantine upon us, the proliferation of absolutely hilarious coronavirus memes has kept us all laughing even in the middle of all the insanity. How can we laugh when such calamity is upon us??!!

As one of the memes says, it's a defense mechanism. 

But, while the scientist are working on the vaccine, perhaps this robust sense of humor, this ability to laugh together might be one of the best medicines if not cures for COVID-19 we right now have on our (thoroughly washed and sanitized) hands.