Panic goes (corona)viral at Shaw’s

This morning, at the end of the soda aisle, a man was sitting on one of those electronic carts, telling anyone who passed by that he wanted to be with Jesus when he died, so he’d only buy what he needed.

When I went to check out, he was two ahead of me in line, calling people out for the things they had in their carts. He pointed a finger at the guy in the Navy hat who had half a dozen jars of peanut butter and enough ground meat to serve burgers to 50. He had derogatory words for the retired couple with two carts full of pantry staples.

“Jesus would be ashamed of you! You don’t need all of that!You are taking food from your neighbors!”

I can’t say whether the particular shoppers he called out needed what was in their carts, or if irrational fear had them buying more than they would ever eat – even if it meant that others would have to go without. What I can say: most of the shoppers looked the other way and pretended they couldn’t hear him.

Fear can kill generosity and compassion, even when the situation is far from dire. But the opposite is equally true: generosity and compassion can kill fear, even in dire circumstances.

Lord, help me err on the side of generosity in all that I do, say, think, buy, and share. Amen.