Bumping into God – in the Grocery Store

I hate grocery shopping. No…I HATE grocery shopping. So today, when I found myself on the way to the grocery store I groaned down in my soul.  I grumbled a little on the way. As I walked through the aisles I moaned because for the first time in a long time I had to really watch what I spent.

You see, five years ago God placed me in the furnace. It was hot. I am not Shadrach. I survived, and it changed me, but wowzers it was hot in there.  Getting out of the furnace meant a pretty substantial cut in pay.  So our family is adjusting to life in a new state, a new home, new schools and new spending habits. Things are tight, much tighter than we are used to. So I walked around the store aware of that.

Eventually, as always happens because I am a terrible grocery shopper – I needed to leave. I didn’t care if I had what I needed, I just needed to be done. So I pushed my full cart to the front and got in line.  That was when I bumped into God, right there in the check-out line at the grocery store.

As I stood waiting, the woman in front of me unloaded the few things she had in her cart. I busied myself with putting the little plastic thing on the conveyor and starting the process of unloading my own cart. Then I heard it – I heard her say to the cashier, “I am not sure I have enough for that.”

I glanced up and noticed it was deodorant. The cashier said, “Let’s ring it up and see.” So she did. It was $1.47, which pushed the woman’s total bill over $50.  That was apparently more than she had. So she asked the cashier to remove the deodorant because she didn’t have enough and she needed the food more (her words, not mine).  My heart ached.  I looked in my bag for cash. I found it. I bought the woman deodorant because my heart longed to.

The woman was touched and she thanked me saying, “Thank you for blessing me in this way.” And I nearly cried.  It cost me $1.47 to show her the love of Christ but more importantly, she had it all wrong. The blessing was all mine.  The idea that every day that woman would use her deodorant and be reminded that God saw her standing there in that aisle and He rescued her gave me such joy.

But it wasn’t just that. God used that little moment to remind me that He has this. He sees us and He knows our needs. He knew that I would stand there behind that woman today and her need for deodorant would be taken care of, and my need for being reminded and reprimanded would also be taken care of with that one simple act.

He gently reminded me that I was being a baby. Yes, money is tighter than it used to be. So what? We aren’t going hungry. We have a warm bed, electricity, a full fridge and everyone is healthy. There are lots and lots of people who can’t say that.  I needed a reminder to get over myself. I needed a reminder of how amazing it makes you feel to help a stranger. I needed a reminder that God is sufficient for all my needs-even deodorant.  He’s got this.

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