Who knew a simple trip to get my hair cut and a stop at the grocery store for hamburger buns could bring so much joy and refreshment. I felt the weight of the past few months’ fear drop from my shoulders . Yes, I wore a mask and donned my fashionably plastic gloves for my errands, desperately dodging people in the aisles to keep some semblance of a six-foot distance. But I felt free. I tried to follow all COVID-19 safety rules but sometimes I just had to step out with a prayer, “Lord, please protect me.” Yet, seeing all those “normal” people in the grocery store and visiting with my dear friend who cuts my hair brought life to my soul.
When I say “normal” people, I’m not speaking about their physical appearances or their belief systems. I’m regarding them with respect because they seemed to be carrying on their grocery shopping in the usual way but with an additional brightness about them. One gentleman watching me consider the purchase of strawberries smiled and said, “They’ll be on sale tomorrow.” I quickly rethought my purchase and thanked him. That’s the kind of normal I’m referring too. Few of the people had masks or gloves, which is still an individual decision although the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to urge us freedom-loving Americans to wear masks. Each person has to make their own decision for themselves and those around them.
I wonder if the freedom and joy I caught on others’ faces was a reflection of what was in my own heart. If so, just imagine what an influence we can be when we shine with the joy of the Lord. Could others detect that just in passing through the aisles of a grocery store?
It seemed trite to feel freedom in a grocery store isle while our country is in the midst of turmoil over injustice even as we still struggle to be free from the grip of an unpredictable virus. We’ve been hit with a multiplied dose of fear. People need to feel and experience true freedom, joy, and justice. That is only found in Christ.
He died to give us freedom and justice. Freedom from sin through His death on a cross. And justice before our Heavenly Father who sees us only with love through His Son’s righteousness. That kind of justice we cannot earn on our own.
As Christ’s followers who have experienced His freedom, we are called to bring that freedom to others through the power of His Holy Spirit. In Micah 6:8 we are reminded:
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice , and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
However, we are also reminded by God through Paul in Galatians 5:13 that while we have freedom, we are not to give free rein to our fleshly desires. We are to pursue God’s justice while humbly acting in the character of Christ.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love serve one another.”
Now that I’m walking around among those in the grocery aisles, the freedom I experience must be given to those around me everywhere. The love and joy of Christ must radiate not only in my face but my attitude and actions by the power of His Holy Spirit living in me.
From My Heart to Yours,
Linking with Mary Geisen #TellHisStory