From the Newsletter: God in the Aisles


Dear Friends of Second Church,

This afternoon I was quicker than the pediatrician’s office and went to pick up a prescription at CVS, only to find myself there (“It’ll be ready in about fifteen minutes, Mr. Grant…”) with a little more time to kill than usual.

I suppose I could have just fallen into my smartphone and left it at that.

But a place like CVS always reminds me that I’ve been meaning to resupply the medicine cabinet, and so I started wandering the store, looking for what I thought I might remember needing if I just saw it one more time.

I was good at recalling the stuff that had dwindled over the winter—cough drops, NyQuil, and whatnot. But the other stuff didn’t come back to me so quickly, and my wandering slowed…Wait, which one is Liz’s toothpaste, again? Did I get a big thing of Q-Tips in my stocking at Christmas this year, or was it last year? Wow, what was it someone told me about “compression socks”? That I should have some or that I shouldn’t?

After a few slow trips up and down the aisles, I was almost ready just to buy one of everything and call it a day.

Fortunately, they called out my prescription and I made it outside with what I had come for, plus a pair of kiddie sunglasses with Elsa from “Frozen” on the frames (no you can’t borrow them).

Yet it also makes me think about all the other things in life we might remember needing if we just saw them one more time.

It might be strange to put it this way, but life, in general, can so easily come to feel like a slow, uncertain trip up and down the aisles of the world.

These days, there are so many people who seem to be searching.

What it is they’re looking for? They can’t quite say. How will they know when they’ve found it? Well, they’re hoping they just will, somehow.

If only they could see “it” again, they’d surely recognize it…whatever it is.

Are they looking for something they truly need, or just, well, restocking the medicine cabinet–replenishing their supplies of whatever it is that helps them get through for now?

It’s easy to enough to see how that happens.

To me, so many of the challenges of our lives are fundamentally spiritual ones, and yet the solutions that come most quickly to us—and the ones that our friends are most likely to offer—so rarely are.

“Just try this,” says one.

“You know, what you need is…” suggests someone else.

Part of my hope for Easter every year is that searching people will find their way to churches like ours, and suddenly remember that, in the end, God is what they have been looking for.

So many important feelings point in God’s direction. A sense of being loved by the Universe. A call to a higher purpose. Gratitude. The feeling of being deeply alive. The power to forgive.

It won’t sell much in the aisles of CVS to say so, but these are the feelings we most dream of having again—the feelings that life’s challenges and disappointments seem to drain out of us, at least for a time.

We need to feel them constantly–to refresh our supplies when they get low.

More to the point, settling for anything else is just treating the symptoms of our maladies, rather than getting to the cause, much less the cure.

Easter is a reminder of what it is to be made whole again.

Think about it. Look around. Maybe you didn’t consider yourself actively in the market for Easter hope, for new life in God, for the wholeness and health represented by the Hebrew word shalom…but isn’t it what you’ve been looking for?

Isn’t that really what you came in search of, after all? Don’t you remember?
See you in church,

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