Demand for local processors has swelled in the last three years because shutdowns and lockdowns scared people about food sources being jeopardized and supply chains disrupted, so they sought local alternatives. With economic uncertainties looming, families and friends processing their own, or neighbors’, farm animals may become more common.
While people stayed in houses, sewage plants and wastewater treatment facilities continued to operate. People had to work at power plants to supply electricity to homes. Hands had built cellphone towers and satellites to enable phone and Internet reception. More hands maintained the towers and satellites. Before 2020, we may not have remembered or seen these real people with real hands doing real work in the physical world. Their lives mattered then and they matter now – even while many others stayed home or are still staying home.
They were meeting; I did not have to wear a mask. They even had Bible study on Wednesday nights, where I could sit with others, all unmasked, and listen to talk of Biblical stories and themes that had sustained people for centuries – stories of mercy and perseverance, of holding onto hope in terrible times, when such hope seemed impossible; stories of miracles arriving through the darkness.
In these times of summarily rejecting people we disagree with or treating those with differing opinions as dangerous or diseased, I have felt led to remember what I would have missed if I had rejected certain people with whom I disagreed on significant issues but from whom I had also received wonderful gifts.