Ah, yes, there she is – the bane of my shopping existence. She has eleven price check coupons so that she can save a total of $1.50 on her grocery bill. Why does she shop at the busiest time and hold up the line?
She hauls out three purses. One holds coin, the other a few bills and the third? Who knows (and quite frankly, who cares!) Move, lady move! It gets worse.
She is the only person in Canada who still has pennies. And she counts them out…one by one to eternity; seriously? I will be late for the rest of my appointments. The dentist will whine, the druggist is likely to shake his head and my writing group will eat all the food before I can get there.
And still, she stands, immobile, counting out those pennies. I am not alone in my impatience. People push their carts against mine, as though I am responsible. What am I to do? Run her over?
And God whispers sarcastically in my ear, “What a fine Christian attitude, Brenda.”
With that thought in my brain, I examine her carefully. Her clothes are a bit shabby. She seems too thin, quite frail and alone. The clerk tells her the same thing more than once. Does she suffer from dementia; hearing loss or simply old age? I have no idea.
She cannot pay for all the groceries and the disgruntled clerk starts to remove items from the bill. In desperation and with God’s words still ringing in my ear, I step up and pay her bill. She has so little, only a couple of small bags. I offer her a ride home. I am astonished at the distance she walked to buy food. I am ashamed that I begrudged her a few minutes in front of the clerk. We chat. She loves Jesus too and has even served him on the mission field. I am in the presence of a saint and yet I had begrudged my time there.
So now we shop together once a week. I drive, she teaches me and she blesses me with her conversation; we have coffee afterward. I have a new friend and I hear God saying,
“Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21a, NIV)
Prayer- Father, we miss so many opportunities when we refuse to linger, love, and learn. We are ashamed of the chances you give us that we do use. Open our eyes Lord open our eyes. Amen.