Loneliness Revealed At Panda Express


Okay so yesterday I spent a few hours out of the house for some much needed me time. It was raining which I love so I decided to do some shopping in the rain. I went to my favorite shopping boutiques, bought a few items with the budget I was given and then decided I really wanted some cheese wontons and sesame chicken. There where two restaurants in the plaza and I decided that Panda Express was the place to go. The outside looked normal and like most places, they had a requirement to wear masks before entering. I grabbed my mask which is a miracle because I usually forget to grab it and then have to do the walk of shame back to my car to get one. I opened the door, looked around and didn’t know what I was supposed to do because they had their bar section barricaded and their lobby was turned upside down. When I approached the barricaded buffet, I was greeted by a very short tempered woman. Her tone and body language where irritated at me but I just walked in the door. I said what I wanted checked out and decided to eat my food in the car.

I almost started to go down a road of self pity and why was she so upset but my attitude changed as God showed me the deeper meaning behind all this. “This isn’t about you Bethany. Its about loneliness.”. I just sat there as I recalled some other instances when going out. Ever time I have been out since covid I’ve noticed people have been lonely. Its like the weight of Covid, media induced fear, heartaches of losing a loved one and loneliness has destroyed any hope of happiness around. Not only that but people are short. I mean like rude short where they don’t have the time of day to deal with you. Almost ever cashier I’ve gone to throughout this pandemic I have sensed a loom of fear, panic, anger, sadness, or loneliness. It breaks my heart to know that there are people out there that just feel so hopeless. There are people out there that are being weighed down and broken from the hardship covid has had on this world…And I cant believe that I have been taking it personal. I wished I had seen it earlier but I didn’t. I wished I extended a hand and prayed for those people but I didn’t. I may not ever see those particular faces again but I am going to do something from here on out to try to brighten someone’s day.

I also realize the apparent and desperate need for Jesus. Christians have a unique opportunity to love others. People need it more than ever now. We have the chance to shower people with love, kindness, and hope. People need God more than ever and to know that he is the redeemer, the one who will defeat this pandemic and will comfort you when you are alone. People, the media, medicine and vaccines can only do so much to help us but they can not save us like God can. We have to choose to have faith over fear and shine in this darkness. MLK Jr once said:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King Jr

We never can tell what a person is going through. It’s so true that love can only be a light in the darkness without without action or change of our hearts this is just a quote, let us choose to be the change. Let us choose to go out and be a light unto others. I know I will be! Has anyone else noticed this?

4 thoughts on “Loneliness Revealed At Panda Express

  1. Yes! What an important thing to remember! You know, it’s funny but it puts me in mind of a time recently in Wal-Mart that is sort of reversed. We usually just do a grocery pickup so I don’t have to deal with mask claustrophobia, but we’d forgotten something so we ran in to get it. I wore my mask and just tried to quietly pray my through it, but I think the cashier sensed my stress because she was so sweet and kind, chatting with my youngest boy and me like we were old friends. I walked away with a lift in my spirit and a reminder how important it is to give grace.These rough times are happening to us all in one way or another. Thank you for it pointing out!

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  2. I love the story about your friend. We just never know where a person is coming from. For this instance, I think I just noticed everyone I have had encounters with lately has been sad or angry of some sort…oh and I love Neil Diamond as my dad played his music all the time!

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  3. When hurt people or family tell me that someone has been rude, short, cut off the friendship or treated them poorly or misunderstood and judged them, I tell them, “Listen, this isn’t about you, this is about them- they are rude people who treat people poorly because they are miserable…’
    So often we think that a person’s cruel actions mean that there’s something wrong with us. In actuality, it says a lot more about them.
    I had a friend once who was always grumpy and said mean things to her friends, but she was also a planner, and would call and ask us if we wanted say, tickets to the Neil Diamond concert (yeah, a long time ago!) etc. And while she was a friend, we just got used to her little jabs at us. One day she mentioned she’d taken a personality test that said she was a little lamb. I laughed out loud and said, “No Way! You are a lion, you’re rude, tough, and make tons of jabs at people!” She smiled shyly and said, “Yeah, but on the inside I’m a little lamb.” It was clear from the conversation that followed that she put on a tough exterior to hide her inner insecurities… ( We’re still friends !)

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