I had to drive into Twin Falls (the closest big city) the other day. My husband had a doctor’s appointment, so we took the opportunity to buy some groceries, see his doctor and then return home.
Just before you drive into that county, there is a large illuminated sign that reads, “Obey the order”.
Now, listen. I know the sign was referring to the shelter-in-place order. But you can’t give someone with a brain like mine a line like that and expect me to remain calm.
I read it as “Obey the Order”. As in the new regime that has taken control of our planet. It’s an alien life force hell-bent on forcing our citizens to succumb to its will. It’s World War C out there.
I was checked out of reality the rest of the day, writing out scenes in my head. Actually, I’ve never recovered from seeing that sign. It’s been a colossal story-prompt and my mind checks out of reality frequently to write and re-write the narrative that could come along with following the Order.
I’m part of the Resistance, of course. The band of rebels determined to maintain our way of life.
I leave my home, directly disobeying the Order to supply other members of the Resistance with weaponry and tools to hold their own against the oppressors.
In reality, I do drive around gathering supplies for face masks and isolation gowns and then I return with finished products. I have felt like a drug runner – I pull into parking lots and dark alleys and people literally throw baggies filled with contraband into my car. Ok, the baggies are filled with fabric and elastic, but I like the contraband narrative better.
Over the last few days, people have been tossing cookies and other baked goods my cute red pickup and I deliver those to people on the “front-lines” of my World War C. Most recently grocery store clerks and bank tellers. We have to support the people in the line of fire, right?
All the while, I’m creating stories in my head. Perhaps my red pickup symbolizes the Red Cross and I’m helping those in battle?
When I come out of my head long enough to engage, some amazing things have happened. I realized how much I miss my friend Violet’s hugs. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but when I picked up her completed face masks the other day, she gave me an “air hug” and I felt myself wishing I could have a real hug.
Then, I delivered masks to the local food bank. The director of the food bank is Pastor Sheryl. One of my favorite things about Sheryl is that she puts her actions where her mouth is. Everything she says on the pulpit is put into action. She truly lives her beliefs. She’s funny, determined and one of the most compassionate humans I’ve ever found. She was busy working on food orders when I quietly walked up behind her, keeping a safe distance, and set the bag of masks on her desk. Her team came up and started grabbing masks. She kept working, giving directions for packing the food boxes that would be going out that afternoon.
When she finally turned around and noticed me, she instinctively rolled her chair over and grabbed my hand. I felt that beautiful spark of human touch. She immediately apologized and sprayed hand sanitizer on my hands. I loved it. That moment of human touch was truly the best experience of that day.
One of Sheryl’s church members is a woman named Joan. I haven’t seen Joan in ages. Her health isn’t great.
Now listen, in general, I’m not big into religiousy stuff. You do you. I’ll do my thing. How you find a deity is up to you. Worship what or who makes you happy. But Joan is one of those people who has the inside connection to God. You can just feel it when you’re around her. I have a few people in my life who are clearly angels on earth. I’m telling you there is no doubt in my mind Joan is hanging with the Holy Spirit in the garden having tea and talkin’ books…
I walked up to leave her masks on her front step and Joan walked out and …
Prayed over me as walked down the steps! I’m telling you, I got chills.
I’m not even kidding. And I needed that prayer. She asked for protection over me as I did my work.
Chills. I tell you. Freakin’ chills. That woman is a gift.
In my head, I wrote something like, “I was given a medal by the Commander of Resistance” and I pictured Joan dressed like Carrie Fisher in Star Wars.
The truth is, the pandemic has me a bit scared, but also filled with hope for the new normal. I hope the kindness and compassion I’m seeing will stay.
In the meantime, though, the masks etc. and the running narrative in my head keep me sane. So, I’ll continue working for the Resistance to the Order.
And I’ll count my blessing for the beautiful people like Violet, Sheryl and Joan who live in my Queendom!
What I’m reading: Still on Untamed, by Glennon Doyle.
What I’m listening to: A playlist on Spotify called “Songs to Sing in the Car”