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.


4 thoughts on “Easter”

  1. I will miss John and Swinney’s also. The Hubby and I are old, old friends of him and his mother. It is truly the end of an era. Take care.

  2. I was pretty heartbroken too when I found out about Swinney’s. We lost our little Harvard hardware store, a Tru-Value that had been there forever and ever.

    They survived Home Depot, but the onslaught of Lowe’s was simply too much. It seems so sad, that our entire country is being turned into some bland, homogeneous suburban neverland, the same from one town to the next.

    We are considering escaping to Mexico, yet even there, as a result of NAFTA, the little mom & pop outfits are being displaced by Home Depot, Office Depot, KFC, McDonald’s.

    I hate it. I can’t find any spiritual gift here. Thanks for sharing yours though.

  3. I had a similar experence a few weeks ago. Our local (urban neighborhhod) Wild Oats (still a big store, but not a BIG store) is closing because they have been gobbled up by Whole Foods…or “whole paycheck” as they refer to it here…I was bemoaning it’s closing to one of the employees when she said quite meekly, “but it’s good for us…we now have helath insurance that doesn’t cost us an arm and a leg (the differnece in the numbers was breath-takingly vast). I was sad that I don’t have my little organic store nearby, but couldn’t help but be grateful that she and her family would have more at the end of the month…sigh…I am praying about this three weeks later…I keep coming back to “what blesses one blesses all..” I have to trust the truth of this Truth…even when I can’t quite understand it right now.

  4. I feel lucky to have had one last chance to visit Swinney’s when we took a trip to Tulsa in April. I was saddened to find out that the hardware store I used to live up the street from was closing it’s doors for good! I always loved going to the hardware store, and bought my first oil lamp there. My family took up a whole page in their book of memories. If I ever do get to visit Tulsa again, it just won’t be the same without Swinney’s. I hope some miracle happens and they are able to stay open. They will be greatly missed though.

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