Last night I was making a milk and dishwasher liquid run to Wal-Mart. The following conversation was happening among cashiers while I was placing my items on the counter.
Cashier 1: How long will this government shut down last?
Cashier 2: Who knows, but the last time it went on for 28 days?
Cashier 1: If people don’t bring in a paycheck, then there will be fewer shoppers.
Cashier 2: Yup; and fewer shoppers means Wal-Mart will need fewer employees. (walking away with heavy steps)
I live in the greater Washington area and I interact with the families whose roof over their head and food on the table comes from working for the government. Every time something like a shutdown or a threat of a shutdown happens it has a direct impact on them, their relationships, and their communities. Imagine the following stress filled actual scenario happening to you or your family.
There is talk of a government shutdown. Your boss calls a team meeting letting you know that you may not have a job or you may be furloughed, or you may have to work without pay. A week later the government shutdown appears to be a reality so you are brought in again to meet with your supervisor and are told that you will not have a job if there is a government shutdown. You go home to review your bank account and brush up your resume. You go in to work the very next day thinking you will be handed your dismissal paper only to be told that after further consideration your position was deemed vital to the organization and you will continue on as an employee. You made the cut this time, but you still may be furloughed depending on the duration of the shutdown.
That is only one person’s tale. I have sat with the supervisors who have had restless nights and stress filled bodies, because they were the ones who had to inform their staff that they were being let go or retained, furloughed with or without pay.
Real people, real hardship, real needs.
Before we jump to conclusions about the best fix to our problems pause and consider the lives attached to each of these “solutions.”
Be willing to listen. Commit to practicing patience with your neighbor, friend, family member. Pray for them.
Here is my prayer:
We are a tired and weary people. Send your peace and patience. Oh God of restoration, restore order to our nation and bring work for those in need. God you are our source of hope, help us to cleave to You.