Swinney’s Hardware is closing later this year.

Truth be told, hearing that news hurt a whole lot worse than hearing the news that my section of the paper was being eliminated. I can (and did) find another job … but there’s only one Swinney’s.

As I drove to church this morning, I was thinking about Swinney’s — and the plight of mom-and-pop businesses in general — and I was trying very hard to keep my heart from breaking.

Three passages jumped out at me as I listened to the Lesson this morning:

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
— Col. 3:2

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.…”
— John 6:63

“We must destroy the false belief that life and intelligence are in matter, and plant ourselves upon what is pure and perfect.”
— Mary Baker Eddy

In thinking about those passages, I realized that it isn’t the bins of bulk fasteners, the striking animated neon saw out front, or even the fleet of Radio Flyer tricycles parked on a high shelf along the east wall that I’ll miss when Swinney’s closes.

What I’ll miss about Swinney’s is the spiritual qualities I see expressed every time I walk in: the reflection of divine Love that I see in John’s friendly smile, the reflection of divine Mind that I see in his knowledgeable employees, and the reflection of divine Principle that I see in the way he and his staff go out of their way to help customers save money instead of selling them things they don’t need.

In considering that, I think I caught a tiny glimpse of the resurrection on this bright Easter morning.

Swinney’s may close its doors, and its beautiful neon sign may fade into the darkness, but its real light can’t be dimmed, for it is not subject to competitive pressures from corporate Goliaths or the whims of a fickle economy. It is simply a reflection of God — divine Love, Mind, and Principle — changeless and eternal.

May we all bring that reflection to our work, today and always.