Going to the grocery store over the weekend was a bad move. My husband had a meeting to go to at 4pm that day and said he would keep Gracie while I took Will to the store with me. I didn't have many things to buy, but I needed to make it a quick trip so I could get back and he could leave. I don't know what it was about that day, but Will was not enjoying the ride in the buggy. Every time I put something in the buggy, he picked it up and threw it out of the buggy. After disciplining him in one of the aisles, he got my point. We proceeded to continue and ran up on two older women chatting in the middle of the aisle. They were oblivious to me behind them and probably didn't know I was in a hurry. I waited a minute or two for them to realize I was waiting behind them, and one of them moved to the side to continue their conversation. While at the check-out counter, Will was restless and I was busy trying to unload the groceries onto the conveyor belt. Not paying any attention to the bag boy, I paid and realized he had put all of my groceries in another buggy and collapsed it so there was no where for me to put Will. Now I had 2 buggies to push outside and down the hill to the parking lot. I was not too thrilled but kept my composure. Then, a friend sent me this email:
Dear God, help me remember that the jerk who cut me off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children. Help me to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester. Remind me, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that I can only imagine in our worst nightmares. Help me to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking my shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together. Heavenly Father, remind me each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those that are close to us, but to all humanity. Let me be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.