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"Grace at the grocery store" by Maria V. Gallagher (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: By Oleg Magni (2018), Pexels, CC0/PD[/caption] When it comes to shopping, I take after my father. I favor the shopping sprint rather than the marathon. My dad’s philosophy could be summed up in three words: “in and out!” That being said, I tend to leave patience at the automatic doors. It’s as if I am in a race called the Supermarket Challenge where I am the only competitor. Exactly how fast can I hurl that toilet paper into my cart? How quickly can I tear off a plastic bag and fill it with fresh vegetables? Can I set a speed record for getting from the bakery to the frozen-food aisle without toppling a tortilla chip display in the process? In essence, I am the type of person that is not one to browse through the brownies. Seek, spot, and grab — that’s my go-to motto. But a recent trip to the supermarket tested both my patience and my shop-before-I-drop philosophy. It seemed that, no matter which aisle I chose, I kept running into a huge cart manned by an employee who was apparently shopping for someone who had ordered their groceries delivered. I am sorry to say that at first I treated the cart as just another obstacle in the grocery-store obstacle course. My aim was to maneuver around the monster cart faster than you can say “bonus card.” But then, it suddenly dawned on me — there was a real person, most likely a real family, anxiously awaiting those groceries. And who was I to interfere with the delivery process? And that led me to a moment of grace — the instant when I paused from my race among the cereal boxes to pray for the family who had ordered the groceries. It then occurred to me that there can be many moments of grace to be found at the grocery store:
  • We can pray a prayer of thanksgiving when we enter a supermarket, thankful that there are so many items from which to choose and we have the money needed to feed our family.
  • We can say a prayer for the hungry, both in our own communities and around the world, that their hunger will be satisfied and that they will feel the love of God in a profound way.
  • We can praise God for his goodness in creating our favorite foods — from the scrumptious strawberries to the tantalizing tomatoes.
  • We can spend the time waiting in line at the deli or the checkout line to review our day with God, thanking Him for our many blessings.
"Grace at the grocery store" by Maria V. Gallagher (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Unsplash.com (2018), CC0/PD[/caption] As a result of this epiphany, I have begun to see my weekly trip to the grocery store in a whole new light. Rather than a burden to be endured, I see it now as a blessing to be savored. Gone are the days of the diaper dash in Aisle 11 — well, after all, my daughter is now 20 years old …
Copyright 2020 Maria V. Gallagher