“Don’t be put off by the ordinariness of the means of joy, for in that ordinariness is hidden the extraordinary riches of the Gospel.” Tim Keller, Hidden Christmas
For years I was the “run into Target for one thing, spend $100″ girl. I need this shirt, laundry detergent, a 500 pack of cards, and new measuring cups. Yeah.
Christmas is the Super Bowl of shopping and all those Target runs were just training for the big game.
But then job leads dry up and so do needless shopping trips.
Not too long ago, I walked into Target for the first time in nearly a year. It felt like coming back to a hometown. I knew how to navigate the aisles, but it all felt so foreign.
Unemployment squeezes a lot of unnecessary out of a life.
I stayed away from Target like an alcoholic stays away from a bar. Pennies were ruthlessly counted. Retail emails had to go. I counted up how many hours I would need to work at my part-time retail job to pay my bills. I bought travel size toothpaste and laundry detergent with the hope that by next paycheck, I would have enough for more. One month, I slipped my rent check in the mailbox and was so overwhelmed with gratitude, I welled up with a flood of tears. I didn’t think I would have enough. I didn’t think I would make it.
(Pause: I understand how very first-world this is. I know thousands of people across the country–not to speak of the millions of people in the world who will never even know the provision of having bills to pay–live this way every day and I feel your weariness in just a small way. If I could carry every burden, to ease this for just a bit, I would. I see you.)
A lot of glitter fell off my life in those months. That’s ok. I was never meant to wear a ton of it anyway.