This sermon written and delivered by Ashley Bekkerus
I want to tell you about the time that fabric softener broke me.
I was in Greece for 6 weeks, which is just long enough that you can’t fake it until you make it.
My housemate and I were going to meet some friends at the bus stop and bring them up to our house. The bus stop was about a mile from the house, but it also happened to be right next to the grocery store. So, we made the plan that he would wait outside at the bus stop for our friends and I’d run in and get some stuff from the store while we were waiting.
The first thing that went wrong was about 5 minutes before we were going to leave, it starting pouring down rain. And, of course, nobody thought to pack an umbrella of all things. So, we put on our jackets and head down the mountain to the bus stop/grocery store.
So, we get there, I go into the store and my housemate stays outside. Shopping isn’t easy in another language. Some of the stuff I need is easy – a couple of avocados to go with dinner, some bread, but then I had to get laundry detergent.
The second thing that went wrong was there was an ENTIRE aisle of detergent, which was overwhelming. And the third thing that went wrong was that none of them look like the one that we had in our house already. I’m trying to be quick because I have people waiting in the rain.
The fourth thing that went wrong was that I couldn’t translate the words. So, I ended up picking the one that I had logically deduced (convinced myself) had to be the right one. It was the most colorful and it was shaped like the one we had at the house.
So, I rush to the checkout – which ends up being a mess, but then after 20 minutes in the store I rush back out and then the fifth thing goes wrong – my housemate is there… by himself. So, I asked him where our friends are and he said they haven’t shown up but 2 buses have already come and gone. After waiting for the next bus, we decide we have to go back to the house to try to call them.
So, after a not-so-successful trip, we get back to the house and talk with our housemates about it. One of them starts dinner and one of them starts laundry. A few minutes later, my housemate comes back to me and says, “um… this isn’t laundry detergent.” and I said, “what do you mean?” and she said, “this is laundry conditioner.”
And that was the last straw. I just break down. Full on, chest heaving, face red, ugly crying. All that stress for nothing. I just wanted to go home. I was tired of not being able to do basic things like buy laundry detergent. I just wanted everything to be back to normal where i knew what to do when I went into a grocery store, or met up with friends.
And I’ve had that same feeling again with COVID – a feeling which I’m sure some of you share. I want to “go home” to pre-covid where I knew what I could expect when I walked into a grocery store or met up with friends. It regularly feels like I’m far from home, trying to make my way in a very different place, when everything feels like it’s fighting against me.
Can we talk about those feelings?