Share with those in need

In Italy, there’s shelves stocked with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, dish soap, baby wipes, meat, chicken, potatoes, and bottled water. With the second-highest reported death toll and number of confirmed cases, why aren’t they robbing their neighbors of every day supplies?

Because they value community and take care of one another.

Frankly, I’m a little disappointed in Americans taking more than they give. Today at the grocery story an eighty-year-old man was searching for dish soap and a bag of potatoes. When I helped him find a tiny bottle of too-expensive organic soap on the near-empty shelf, he took one. He did find four sweet potatoes, which means at his age, he’ll have to keep going back to the store for more. Because all the healthy people took the bags.

A man in line told Shane at the grocery store, “If this was a test, we’ve failed.”

I love my hometown of Colleyville and I love Texas and I love America, but I admire the Italian way much more right now — stay home, take turns going to the store, and only get the essentials. Because they are doing this, they lack nothing. They understand how to take care of their community, respect one another, and give to those in need.

If you were or are afraid, there’s no judgement here. I bought two 5-pound bags of rice for the first time in my life. When I offered one bag to the man searching for potatoes, he waved me off. “My wife is German,” he scoffed, “She’s saved food since the 1950’s. We have plenty to eat.”

There’s some wisdom here. But we also know fear and love can’t co-exist. Personally, I’d like to see a massive amount of Americans return their goods to the store so others who need them can get them. Fear drives us to do selfish things, and this is not a time to be selfish. God is watching, and our behavior as Americans is front-and-center on the world stage.

I’m so grateful to know a God who gives us second chances, who let’s us retake a test. America: let’s do a re-do.

Let’s apologize for taking more than we give, learn to share, and show the world we know how to take care of one another.

Jen

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