Will you be going out today? Got last minute shopping to do? Needless to say, you won't be the only one out there. It can be grueling to navigate your vehicle (let alone walk) through the parking lot. Then once you do get into the store, you will be one in hundreds looking for this or that item.
Perhaps there is a way to walk through this time and space with grace. I know it may sound overly optimistic, but perhaps we can aim to look at all of the others as unique expressions of God's love. Perhaps we can shift our focus from our own sense of urgency toward a pervasive attitude of appreciation and gratitude. I'm not naive. I don't care for crowds. In fact, I tend to implode in their midst. But if I do go out and about today, I am going to prepare by asking God's help to be gentle with others and with myself. I am no more entitled to expediency than the person who is in front of me or behind me. I hope I can remember that. After all, I don't want to do harm to others (or to myself).
It seems clear that the parking lots and the aisles in the stores would benefit from words of gentless and gratitude -- for the gifts of life, for the capacity to love and serve others. It might be challenging, but I believe that with God's help we can scatter those words and those gifts!