By now, you’ve probably had lots of stores close in your area.  Here in our city, Sears, Steinmart, Pier One, and so many more are closing their storefronts, and it’s so sad.  However, years ago I noted to my husband that some stores weren’t “keeping up” with the styles and the times.

I recall shopping in Sears and thinking that the styles of clothing were drab and old-fashioned (my opinion, I know).  Steinmart seemed to cater to just one crowd of people, maybe the more middle-aged crowd, and wasn’t changing out merchandise, either.  And even Pier One had the same look for decades, in their home décor.  And perhaps they didn’t change for good reason, or maybe they just weren’t aware of the changes going on in culture and didn’t care to keep up.

I don’t know the real reason for so many store closures, but I’ve always noticed things and pondered situations, perhaps a little too much.  I’ve noted that as some folks grow older, they become less tolerant of change and of the younger generation.  And then there’s this separation and judgment that occurs when the next generation has new ideas, new styles of clothing, new music, and there’s a great disconnect.  Our doors that were once open to change and listening and loving those young people are now closed in critical assessment that the kids have gone “to the dogs.”

I think it’s hard to keep up with changes, but we just have to.  If we want to thrive in a changing world, then we need to be observant and love what we can, and detest only what’s sin, not what’s different.  And that’s a big thing to note!  Wearing torn clothing or getting a tattoo or eating vegan isn’t sin, but oftentimes we older ones act like different is sin.  And we have to be careful, or our proverbial doors will slam shut for good.

What I mean is that if we don’t keep our doors open and our hearts and ears open to listen to those around us that are different than we are, people won’t come and “shop” for what they need at our place.  Our homes won’t be welcoming, our seats will be hard and rigid and uncomfortable to sit on, and our windows will be closed with only stagnant air remaining.

There are so many comments made by so many people that I hear and listen to, that make me cringe. Judgments against youth that are protesting, railing against those that do or do not wear masks, criticizing the youth and dubbing them as stupid and lazy, and all sorts of things!  To me, this is like keeping a store’s merchandise on the shelves that no one wants to buy, because we’re just too stubborn to change and grow.

Of course, I have no idea why some of these stores really closed.  But I’ve lived long enough to see that separation of generations occurs big-time, when we don’t grow and try to understand and listen, and then offer prayer and kindness and love instead of critical snubs.  Only God can change the heart if it’s bent toward wickedness, but often what we see as wickedness is just souls searching for an older generation that will love them.  They are often missing a parent that gave them love, so they’re angry and hurt.

I am sad to see so many stores closing, especially if they just failed to keep up.  I want to keep up by wiping my shelves clean of dusty old thoughts, I want to set out things that are attractive to customers like love and joy, and I desire to fill my home with music that creates an atmosphere to dance, not mourn.

Next time you see a store close, pray for the people losing their jobs.  And also pray for yourself, that you will take notice of your own shelves and stock, and see what you can do to spruce things up so that your doors can stay open…so that those passing want to enter in and stay, and leave with something good.                

Magic Wand
Tonight's the Night
Pray Big
Sad and Noted
by Marcy Lytle

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