Mine is a story of missed opportunity and redemption.
It began one cold winter evening as I stood in the grocery checkout line behind a rather ragamuffin couple. I watched their items move along the conveyer belt – bread, milk, beer, ice cream, diapers and a few other odds and ends. As the cashier announced their total, the man realized he had left his wallet at home. He asked the cashier to please set the items aside and he would be right back. I remember being a bit concerned that his ice cream might melt in the meantime.
It wasn’t until I was leaving the store with my purchases in hand that the thought hit me, “I could have paid for the ice cream. And the milk.”
That way they could have at least taken those two items home and put them in the freezer and fridge before coming back for the rest. Darn my feeble mind. You can be sure I will be ready the next time.
A few weeks later God gave me a new opportunity. I was walking into the same grocery store when I noticed an elderly woman struggling to put a walker into the trunk of a car that was pulled up to the curb. There was an elderly gentleman sitting in the passenger seat with the door open and his legs swung out to the side. I asked the woman if I could give her a hand as I took the walker from her. After we successfully tucked the walker into the trunk, the gentleman thanked me for helping out “an old military man”. I was delighted to hear a bit of his story and to be able to thank him for his brave service. What a lovely day it turned out to be.
Thank you God for the opportunity to connect with that beautiful couple. I am still itching to pay for someone’s milk and ice cream, though.