Still at Work — with Kelly Stamp
Many people from all three Grace Church locations are working as front-line employees—whether in grocery stores, hospitals, labs, restaurants, or public safety roles around this area. On the other hand, many of us have been safely at home, wondering what it’s like and how we can help. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be hearing from essential workers in multiple areas as they help us answer those questions.
This week, we hear from Kelly Stamp, a member at Grace Canton who works as a Store Manager at ALDI.
CHRISTINE: Can you please introduce yourself and tell me what it is you do for work?
KELLY: My name is Kelly Stamp, and about nine months ago I started working for ALDI Food Company.
When our church started going through the Lamentations series, I really started processing through, “God, why do you have me where I’m at? Why do you have me doing what I’m doing? I want to be a part of something more. I want to be a part of Kingdom-building. I want to be making an impact that’s going to last for eternity.” And it’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday of life and not feel like what you’re doing really matters.
And then literally less than a week later our entire world gets flipped upside down. This pandemic hits, and the governor makes an announcement that we are sheltering in place, and nobody is to go anywhere. And the reality that the only time people are leaving their homes is when they’re either going to their doctor or coming to the grocery store to see us and that impact that that has is just huge. It was for me that reminder of God saying, “Hey look, I have you exactly where I have you, because this is where I want you for this time right here right now. You are seeing people and you are giving them that hope. You are giving them that smile that they need. You are asking them how you can pray for them. You’re the one person outside of their family members that they’re seeing every week. So be where I have you, because I have a bigger plan than you know.”
C: Now that you’re, you know, kind of doing Kingdom work and also in a really intense situation. How have you been staying rooted in Christ through that situation?
K: I feel like God brings moments in my life like this where I have no place to go but to Him. Where there is no other option, but on my knees, and it’s moments like this where everybody I talked to—their fears, their concerns—the lists of prayer requests right now are just huge. I find that that’s where I’m at most of the time. My car ride to work is, “Alright, God, this is what’s going on in all these people’s lives, and we need you to show up.” And that’s been really powerful for me. I feel like my intimacy with Him as a result of that has been huge.
And then also, our community group. We get together virtually on a regular basis, which is great because you get to see people and I love that. Just knowing that they know me, and they’re praying for me, and they’re in this with me, and I get to see them and be a part of their lives with them… It has been really huge.
C: Other than being in community with you and praying for you, how else can we be supporting you and other people working in essential frontline services?
K: I think understanding that our experience is so different than anybody else’s right now. Like you hear people talking—I heard a radio announcer talking yesterday: “Yeah, I haven’t showered in two or three days, and I am wearing my pajamas as I’m working.” Oh, I showered twice today: once before work and once the moment I get home from work. And then people talk about how “I’m at home all day and just going stir crazy; I’ve got to get out of the house! I want to do something active!” I’m taking over 20,000 steps a day, like, my level of activity—I’m so physically exhausted.
So, just understanding how for 90% of our population, they’re at home, and they are going stir crazy and cabin fever is a reality. And then this other 10% is physically exhausted. And allowing yourself to have that permission to relax yourself to have that permission to slow down when you do come home is huge.
And knowing, like, little things. There are a lot of things that we can do to support people. Like somebody the other day they dropped off boxes of gloves and masks, and it’s like thank you.
And also smile and say hi. When you see people when you’re walking down the street or you’re riding your bike, smile and say hi. We’re people. Yeah, we’re social distancing, but we’re still people. So don’t forget to smile and make eye contact.