I live near a shopping mall, and a few years ago, Shawn (RIP) and I went to look around at the final days of SEARS’ brick-and-mortar store. When we walked into the store, what was left of it, all we could do was just stand there and look around, and then at each other, just speechless. We’re both in our late-40s, so we remember growing up with SEARS being an ever-constant presence throughout our childhood and adolescence. So, to see the shelves basically empty, and even the shelving units, themselves, as well as the display cases, the shopping carts also had price tags on them, no lie, I felt like another piece of my childhood was disappearing. It’s no secret I don’t have many good memories of my childhood, but one of the few good childhood experiences I had, I was able to go with my Grandpa (RIP) to SEARS every once in a while when he needed to buy tools, or if we went for clothing/shoes, etc. Sigh.
On the flip side of that, though, online shopping, pre-pandemic, I mean, all but inhaled the ability to go in person and shop. Interact with business owners, workers, etc. It’s a necessary evil nowadays, but nonetheless… It hurts.
So, when I stopped at the said mall today on my way home from taking a friend to help him run some errands he needed to do, I realized I was hungry and went to the food court to see what – if anything – was open. Only one – ONE! - business was still functioning. I’d never eaten there before, so I decided hm. Their menu looks good, so I’ll get something from them. While I was chatting with the employee, I asked her, “Are you guys the only restaurant open anymore here?” She said, “Yeah, unfortunately.” She said she didn’t know why, but we concurred that it was likely because of the pandemic. She brightened a little and said, “Hey, more business for us, though, right?” But her smile did not meet her eyes. I could see the sadness there that she was fighting – and not successfully – to hide. She took my order, and while I waited, I couldn’t help but look around a little bit at the empty storefronts and just shake my head a little bit, feeling like it’s finally happened: we’re on a slippery-slope to a dystopian society.
Ah, humanity. What are we doing?!
I don’t even know what to think anymore, y’all. I trust in God, though, I know He’s got everything under control (even if we don’t/can't see it, He does!)… It just hurts my soul to know that there’s so much happening, and very few people (it seems) trust God to sort it all out.