Folks in Indianola are adjusting their everyday lives and how they observe family events and religious holidays.
On a recent grocery run, I ran into Kevin Miller.
Kevin has been the Indianola Fareway store manager since May 1998 and has worked for Fareway since 1980. He and wife, Ellen, live in Indianola and children Anne, Elana and Mike are all IHS graduates.
Our conversation in the aisle was centered on the way our communities and lives have been upended. He relayed this story to me and after a little coaxing, he agreed to let me share it with our readers.
Kevin and Ellen are members of St Thomas Aquinas in Indianola. The church decided for Palm Sunday to offer a drive-thru service to pick up palms and bags which held holy water and blessed salt.
“Basically the salt is intended to be an instrument of grace to preserve a person from sickness and other things,” said Kevin. “I guess I looked at it as I’m passionate about my faith and passionate about God. As you get older you realize that faith and trust can help things turn out better. I’m not in control.”
Kevin and Ellen hosted some of the grandkids at their house for Palm Sunday so they explained the importance of the salt and water.
“After we talked, the entire family walked around the outside of the house, sprinkling the blessed salt and holy water around the foundation, praying and blessing as we went and asking for God’s grace to be with us all,” said Kevin.
But Kevin wasn’t done yet. He drove up to Fareway on Palm Sunday and repeated the action as he walked around the store, sprinkling the blessed salt and holy water around the perimeter of the building, offering prayers the entire time for the safety of his employees and customers.
“I thought it was important for me to do this for myself, my family, my employees, my customers,” said Miller. “So I took the opportunity to embrace the fact there is someone out there much bigger than me and I knew I’d be a fool not to embrace that. I have 10 grandkids and close to 80 employees and I want to ensure I’m doing the right thing for all of them.”
“You see everything that’s going on and almost feel guilty going to work when so many have lost their jobs. I am very grateful for what I have. I’m taking it day by day and doing the best job I can for my employees and customers.”
Our neighbors in Indianola and surrounding communities are doing wonderful things during this time of crisis in our world. Keep your eyes and ears and heart open and you might just find a dose of inspiration and hope. Even in aisle 7 at the grocery store.