It’s been 5 weeks since I ventured forth to the shops before being confined in a solo bubble. I wanted to use this time to cook up a loving gift for those needy people who are on my conscience. But when I flung open the doors of my heart, I found my spiritual larder is rather poorly stocked, so I’d like to pass you my request for on-line shopping (which I’ve never managed to figure out before.) Please Lord, help me to find ample supplies of the following fine, fresh, healthy ingredients.
Generosity. I’m all out of this special stuff. I observe that during this pandemic it’s in short supply around here. Could you please order in a large bale each of Goodness and Kindness while you’re at it?
I picked up some pride, self righteousness and greed before lock-down. The packaging was so tempting and the aroma was delightful; but ‘all that glitters is not gold.’ I want to use that exchange card you offered me, and swap those ingredients for a large parcel of humility and a bag of self control. They’re much harder-wearing, and easier on the conscience than pride.
(If it’s not too much trouble, Lord, I’d also like a refund on the jealousy and envy which were impulse-purchases recently. They’re so ugly on, and I’m sure their colour clashes with the ‘real me’ You are trying to develop.)
And would You please ring around Your suppliers and try to locate a regular supply of Tolerance? I’m always running out of this, just when I need it most. I never seem to have enough, and I’ve learnt that it makes a great substitute for Patience which is also in short supply these days.
(By the way, Lord, I noticed some interesting samples of Kindness on display in Your shop window, and I’d like to examine them more closely. Do You have a pattern book for life that I could browse through, or perhaps borrow, so that I can copy the recipe and whip some up for myself?)
We’re right out of Patience too. A friend of mine was exhibiting it at Church during Harvest Festival (that seems so long ago, but it was just before Covid struck our shores.) Anyway, the garment of Patience was very becoming. I hope it’s not too expensive. Even if it is, I’m willing to pay for some, because it’s such a staple in the Christian’s store- room.
Now, where on earth would I go for a large heap of Peace? It must be imported, like oil, and it’s not readily available since planes and shipping have been halted by Covid. Could you please find a source for me, as it’s necessary for mental well-being and physical health? It’s not a luxury, but more of a necessity, that wondrous fragile Peace.
Now… what else is running low? Ah yes! Gentleness. I ran out of Gentleness weeks ago. Stressful neighbours and isolated grandchildren who seem to have no need of grandma’s Gentleness through this pandemic. Of course my fur buddies and feathered friends lap up the affection we share, but I’ll need to restock this fine quality item.
Then there’s the dry cleaning to collect. Thank you for offering to wash my sin-stained clothes? Oh, You couldn’t get the stains out? What can I do to cover up the ugliness?
Wow! Will You really give me a pure white robe of righteousness? (It’s not even my birthday, and I don’t really deserve it. I am so sorry for having hurt You.) You’re sure that your robe will camouflage my filthy rags? Thank You, Lord; I’ll really appreciate being clean and fresh again before public gatherings when this wretched. Corona virus is beaten.
Also, I’d like You to recommend where I can get my sense of humour repaired. I’ve really missed it during the added stresses of this Covid crisis. I can’t see the funny side of life with my blurred vision. You know I used to be the joker, the class clown, the funny one. Somehow that cheerfulness became buried under the drama and daily disasters of this strange year- and we’re only up to May Day!
When life resumes to a ‘new normal, post Covid, I intend going to town, to drop off a load of unwanted clobber at the charity store. ‘One person’s trash is another person’s treasure,’ and new owners will appreciate some good things that I no longer require. I’m seeking to live a more simple life, where people are valued more than mere things. It’s the old lesson Lord, where you’re encouraging me to re-order my priorities. We don’t need the burden of excessive baggage. You have always told us that we’re meant to be pilgrims on the journey through this earthly life. Somehow, my roots got stuck and I hoarded and collected, until my heavy load become burdensome, and I struggled to keep in step with You, Lord. Please help me to lighten my load, and thank you for offering to help me sort and carry it.
When I eventually get to the charity shop, please remind me to put up a ‘Wanted’ notice on the board, as I want to track down extra supplies of Perseverance and Hope.
Oh yes – I’ll also need to stop at the hardware store and pick up a Spirit level, weighing scales and a steel ruler. I want to check whether I measure up to Your requirements yet. You know, (and I know, Lord,) what I’ve hidden from others behind a mask of fear and grief. My life has been rather out of kilter in recent difficult years.
I’ll save the fun part to the end of that eagerly anticipated shopping spree, and hope to strike it lucky. I’ll be searching for some cheerful boxes of optimism, love and joy on special offer (buy two and get the third item free….) I crave generous amounts of fun and fellowship. It was unwise not to keep liberal amounts of these staples, but, like so many others, I didn’t manage to replenish my provisions before the suppliers all locked their doors and disappeared. (I also missed out on hand sanitizer and toilet rolls, Dettol, flour and dog treats.) It wasn’t really negligence, more a matter of disbelief that Kiwis would literally overnight, give up their cherished freedom for total surrender of their independence for the greater good.)
Meanwhile, in lock- down, I’ll work on increasing my Faith and Prayer deposits in Your Heavenly Bank Account; so when freedom returns and shops open, I can withdraw enough to pay for this huge shopping excursion. I’ve not been making regular deposits, and my credit-limit is hovering on the edge of red. I’m so grateful that my Fatherly Shopkeeper has a rich store-house well stocked with the quality goods I so desperately need to replenish. And Your opening hours offer round-the -clock service too. Once the world returns to something like normal, Lord, please arrange for regular deliveries of all these goodies. Perhaps we can organize a direct-debit? I ‘m certain that I never again want to be caught short of the Fruits of Your Spirit, Lord.
Thank you for listening, Lord. I appreciate your patience in processing my order, and I look forward to receiving it. When my larder and cupboards are re-stocked, I will endeavour to use those goods to make a difference for those around me. I hope you will be pleased to see the results.
Your loving daughter,