You know the feeling. You want to go and get something to eat. You drive around to various restaurants and you discover that all of them are closed. Now you begin to reassess your mission i.e. that you just wanted to go somewhere and enjoy yourself. It’s getting later and so you decide that you will just go home.
 So much for your mission.

Right now, I would wager that it is challenging for some people to remain optimistic when things are not going well. It’s painful to see that hundreds of thousands of workers are not getting paid due to the current government shutdown. Some people have resorted to selling their cars in order to pay their mortgage. Others are currently taking other side jobs like pizza delivery etc. in order to get some cash.

Even three people died in national parks due to accidents and lack of security.

How do you stay open when everything is closed?

First, it’s important to recognize that you are not alone. A lot of people are upset regarding the current set of circumstances. Many people want to see governmental services fully restored. Coast Guard families want to see their pay checks again, parents of special needs children want to know that they will be able to get essential medication for their family members.

Second, there has been evidence of “more light revealed “when you witness total strangers handing out money, or casseroles or other gifts to TSA employees who are having to work and yet remain unpaid.

Charity and kindness goes a long way especially in times that are just this side of being draconian.

Third, we need to remember that this period will end, hopefully soon. Again, people will be getting paid for their labors, museums and parks will reopen and some sense of normalcy will begin again to emerge.

I have never lived through a national government shutdown when there weren’t significant consequences. During one shutdown, a family that I knew experienced the tragic death of their infant child and there was a minimum amount of support services that were available to them. During another shutdown, I was supposed to present at a conference at a government facility. My travel orders were cancelled and in order to honor my commitment, I liquidated the balance of a frequent flyer account.

Politicians need to realize that closing down the government literally plays with people lives as if it were a spectator sport. If the elected officials were going without their salaries, their health care, or God forbid their limos, maybe it would sink in that you never want to play this card, as it can have disastrous consequences.

Staying open in spirit when times are dictated by fear and power plays really demands a strong faith and equally strong resolve that one can endure and even thrive.

When you can’t find an open restaurant, there is always delivery usually pizza.

What can we do to be able to provide “delivery “of care, concern, caritas, to others who are in need during this time of turmoil?

As Bonnie Raitt has observed:

“When I’m feeling stuck in a closet,

I need someone to break down the door

And pull me out. “

May this happen for us all now.

May it be so.