The unthinkable happened this morning.
We ran out of toilet paper.
The thought is sobering enough, but before your imagination runs wild, let me assure you that the crisis was averted.
First, it was an epidemic (in two bathrooms only), and not a pandemic (the third bathroom had some). And Jeanie did come to my rescue with the scant supply that had remained in the second bathroom, along with a box of facial tissue. Then she assured me we had reinforcements in the garage.
However, isn’t it odd that the first signs of panic in our current pandemic was the disappearance and hoarding of, of all things, toilet paper?
I think it was late February when Jeanie came home from Costco announcing that Costco had totally run out of toilet paper. The one place we could always count on to have mountains of toilet paper now had none—there was only a gaping, empty space where that mountain had once stood. And yes, she asked when some would be available. The checkout people told her “tomorrow,” but if she wanted some, she would have to get there early.
Sure enough, from what I heard, there was a huge line in front of our Costco the next several mornings. Police even showed up, and on one day when there was a massive line, they ordered Costco to open early.
That tells you something about the mindset of many people in this pandemic. They’re anxious. They’re hoarding whatever they might need to survive this crisis.
However, there’s one thing that is clearly in short supply. It’s the one thing this virulent virus threatens most—and that’s life.
As the U.S. has now become the world leader once again, but this time in a very dubious category– Covid-19 infections–people are, in fact, becoming more and more aware of the fragile nature of their lives. More than 10,000 have now died in our country, nearly half of those in New York, and 100,000 around the world. And we haven’t reached the peak of the pandemic yet.
My friend, Steve Frazier, is a chaplain for Samaritan’s Purse. That means he’s among many who receive calls from people who are responding to Franklin Graham’s brief commercials that are now appearing on the news channels amid the crisis. As of Friday night, he said 40,000 had called in, 2,000 had made professions of faith, and people are extremely anxious and depressed amid this incredible pandemic.
Obviously, toilet paper may have been an issue to these folks initially. It might have been the canary in the mine. However, as people have begun dropping like, well, canaries, many are thinking anxiously about a much greater issue—life itself.
I know that if we had really been out of toilet paper, at least a dozen of you would have eagerly rushed to our aid and left whatever you could on our doorstep.
Right now, though, there are probably some people you know who aren’t nearly so concerned about their next trip to the bathroom as they are their next breath.
And we have what they need—life, and life eternal.
When it comes to life, and eternal life, there’s only one source–Jesus. Fortunately, He made sure the supply is plentiful—it’s available to all. The Bible tells us “For Christ also died for sins once for all” (I Peter 3:18a).
The bottleneck has entirely to do with the distributors—you and me. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2a).
If we would jump at the chance to help a friend experiencing a shortage of toilet paper, how much more should we jump at the chance to help a friend who is completing missing out on eternal life?
Why not text or email some Scriptures to your non-Christian friends or relatives? John 3:16 would be a great start; John 10:10 would be good; and even I Peter 3:18, mentioned above. Some other good ones are Luke 24:46-47, Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8 and 10:9-10.
Or why not send them a link to our Resurrection Sunday Service?
I did send a link to it to my entire contact list. I got commitments to watch from at least one, and a thank you from some of the most unlikely recipients.
And it won’t even cost you a square of toilet paper!