Thursday, February 25, 2010

At the Grocery Store

Yeah, so today, I got to the grocery store, and as per usual, was scrounging around for a quarter for the shopping carts. How a bright woman can be so dumb, really, I can't tell you for sure. But along came Abbie and Nancy, a mother and daughter from our church. Someone had given them their cart instead of returning it to the cart area and retrieving their quarter, so they passed the cart on to me with instructions to pass it along to someone else when I was done. I did my grocery shopping kind of marveling over the fact that really, the smallest thing can make the biggest difference, and vowed to myself to never miss an opportunity to say a good word, or to smile at someone.

While I was bagging my groceries, an elderly lady came by. "Now you'll have to go home and put all that away," she said. "Yep," I said, "and how lucky I am to have groceries to put away. These are hard times, and there are a lot of people in this world who would give anything to have the chore of putting away groceries. She stopped and looked at me. "Most people don't understand that," she said. She manages an apartment complex, and talked about how many young people were struggling to make ends meet. She said that she set aside a room and began to collect discarded furniture for people who needed it. She gives it away. I said, "Well, I've got a dresser and a twin mattress." She took my name and number. We walked through the parking lot talking about being kind, and about God, as if we were two old friends. Very suddenly, she looked at me and said, "Two years ago, my son was killed in a motorcycle wreck. Why? Why did God do that? I cry about it, and think, 'I'm old. Why didn't You take me?' "and she got quite emotional. I touched her arm. "I don't know," I said. "I've got a lot of questions myself. I cannot imagine anything worse than losing your child. I expect someday I'll be standing before God almighty Himself, and I'm going to whip a list of questions a mile long out of my back pocket. There's a lot I don't understand. But faith is simply believing that there is a reason. That's all. Just believe that He knew what He was doing."

And I unloaded my groceries into the car kind of marveling over the fact that really, the smallest thing can make the biggest difference, and vowed to myself to never miss an opportunity to say a good word, or to smile at someone. And when I emptied that cart, I turned looking for someone to give my cart to. There was another woman from our church. "Hey," I said, running to catch up with her. She said, "I've got to get change for a dollar. I don't have a darn quarter..." and I said, "Take it...Nancy and Abbie gave it to me!" and we both laughed big and went our separate ways.

8 comments:

Paula said...

I just get such a kick from those little gestures too - like when someone gives you their car park ticket with an hour or so on it! And as it shows ... so much more can come out of them!!

Px

PS - Can you ask why my mum died of ovarian cancer at the premature age of 53? Thanks.

Jayne said...

What a lovely story and how great to pass those little things, like the shopping trolley, on to others.

steviewren said...

Great story. It looks like God was enjoying blessing your church members today.

Beth said...

I enjoyed that story! How true we need to all think about making others' days a bit easier...

Kelly said...

I've got my share of questions, too. In the meantime, I'm just trusting....

Mikey said...

What a great story!!

Bob said...

Divine appointments!

corymbia said...

Fantastic story :)