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  • Writer's pictureAlice J Stewart

Hurricane Party, Snow Days, & Distancing

Main Idea: Go ahead and let your hair down... then let's do church.

 

Here in Ontario, Canada, the place to get alcohol is called the LCBO: Liquor Control Board of Ontario. This sounds like Big Brother to Americans, but the reality is that it keeps costs down and removes a bunch of headaches. Canadians think it's weird to be able to buy beer where we buy our gas. I can see both sides.


I was returning from an hour puttering around a church today and decided to stop by the LCBO before I started working from home. I thought it might be nice to have a glass of wine from time to time if I were going to socially-distance for the next couple of weeks.


The parking lot is usually thinly populated. I've never understood why the parking lot was made so large. Today? FULL!


Absolutely everyone was at the LCBO. The man in front of me had an entire grocery cart full of booze. Every so often, he'd put another bottle in. It was overflowing.


Everyone else looked like they were stocking up, but not nearly so furiously. Most of us laughed nervously as we looked around at each other and the lines winding around the store.


Being the Texan that I am, I started chatting with people. Being a small female makes me a non-threatening person to most, so I usually have no trouble conversing with strangers.


The Canadians joked and told stories about getting snowed in. I joked and told stories about hurricane parties. And then we inched out, little by little, our fears.


There's a lot to be afraid of. Mostly we're fearful of the unknown. Most people I meet, I'm glad to say, feel relatively prepared for a little bit of lock-down. Not all do, and those who don't usually have good reasons.


What we're going through as a planet creates honest-to-God problems, and it also creates opportunities for goodness. I think we are called to hold both in our (vigorously washed) hands.


As we prepare to hole up and connect safely, there is so much to encourage each other about. Warn each other about. And we're doing a pretty good job of that right now with each other.


Canadians generally have more time off of work in a given year, but not all. Americans usually don't get much in the way of a vacation. And we're not looking at holidays, are we?


These are stressful times. We can make the best of things and maybe enjoy what time we have on our hands. On the other hand, we can waste this time in an utter drunken stupor. If we choose the latter, I will not judge you. We are under a lot of stress, and have been for years.


If we do, I'll be here when that time is over. We will all be here… church, together, somehow. We will not judge - only love.


Please do what you need to do safely, and know that you are loved.


There is a lot of information about how to connect online and how to "do church" remotely. I am thrilled. We've always known we would need to "do church" differently. Now we must.


And once we are through this particular problem, let me encourage you to continue pondering how best to "do church" as we move forward in this changed and changing landscape.


You don't have to go it alone. I am here to help. Through Grow+Small, I am also here to connect you with others.


Stay safe and well, my friends, and know I am always here. I'll even lift a glass at your hurricane party. And then, later, we'll have church.

 
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