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Challenge: Gratitude & Giving

Just Buy The Crackers

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I stood in front of the display for an unbelievably long time this morning, trying to decide if I needed to buy a few packs of sandwich crackers. They were BOGO and my boys love them, so it shouldn't have been such a difficult decision. But I kept telling myself there was still a pack at home and I should get something else so we'd have a variety of snacks in the pantry.

I even walked away, stopped halfway down the aisle and came back. Why was this such a huge decision?? Good grief, woman. If you want the crackers, put them in your cart! If not, just keep walking.

I rolled my eyes at myself and put two packs in the cart.

The checkout line took longer than usual to get through, and as some of the other customers loudly sighed around me, I kept thinking, "I'm not in a hurry, I have time before I have to pick up Finley." I was actually incredibly impressed by the number of coupons the woman in front of me was using. She was the real deal. So as I heard others quietly grumble as the store employee scanned coupon after coupon, I reminded myself I needed to get on the ball with this whole couponing thing.

After I checked out and started walking toward the doors, I saw him. An older gentleman with a long white beard and piercing blue eyes walking in and sitting down on the benches right inside the automatic doors. He was wearing a button-down dress shirt and a tie, but was disheveled and somewhat dirty. I smiled when I saw him.

He was the same man I had seen a few days earlier as I was leaving the grocery store (I'm there a lot!) and I'd smiled and said hi to him then, but I'd kept walking. He never asked for anything, but as I sat in my car that day I had questioned whether or not there was something I could give him. I didn't have any cash on me, but I had several bags of groceries. I thought of the items in each bag and what would be good for him ... maybe some crackers that he could put in his bag? But then, I put the car in reverse and pulled away. And the whole way home I scolded myself for being such a jerk. Why was I in such a hurry that I didn't get out of my car and take something to him?

I talk about "giving what you can" on my blog and my Facebook posts, and here I was driving away without giving to someone who clearly could have used some simple generosity.

But today, I knew just what to give him and didn't hesitate or question myself. I stopped my cart and asked him if he'd like some crackers. His face lit up and he said, "Yes, ma'am, that would be wonderful."

I don't know the perfect moral of my morning's encounter, but I know I was given a second chance.

I was pushed to buy those crackers I didn't feel we needed, and I was put in a crazy long line so I would be walking out just as this man came in the doors and sat down.

So, as I share this with my sons, maybe the lesson is trust your gut. Or maybe not to get frustrated when something is delaying you. Or maybe to be extra kind when you feel like you should because we might not get these second chances again. Or maybe it's to just always buy the crackers. 2764.png

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