Wednesday, March 9, 2011

just a quick run into Safeway…


It was just a quick run into Safeway

to buy sweet potatoes for a dinner side dish

and a Diet Coke for right now.

She was in the check out line behind me

talking loudly on her self phone,

having a dispute with someone,

her boyfriend?

She bought a Lunchable

and two bags of Reese’s pieces

and she was younger than me

but her face looked old and tired.

I thought to self, “Doesn’t she know there’s a proper place for private conversations and this isn’t one of them?”

Inside myself I was irritated at her.

Then she says, “We’ll talk more later” and hangs up the phone.

She glances at me and notices my 25th anniversary diamond from my husband and admires it.

I give her a polite fake smile, pay for my potatoes, and leave the store.

The next morning I’m brushing my teeth and it all comes back to me.

A Voice speaks to my heart about a hurting woman and a missed opportunity.

All I would have had to say is, “Looks like you’re going through a tough time.” and then listen.

But I was too full of self to notice, to care, to take the time.

This facing the truth about the darkness of my own heart and choosing to die to self isn’t easy.

Yet when I do shut off the constant

I think…

I feel…

I want..

and think about and serve someone else

I am blessed…

I am happy.*

A self-focused life is a miserable life.

*John 13:17

Still following,



  1. Thank you for sharing this. I often look at times I've missed the chance to listen and lift someone's heart a bit highter - and I'm sad, too.

  2. Thanks for reminding us we miss many oppertunites to give someone just a small glimmer of someone caring. I must remember.

  3. I was blog true.........stories..........missed grateful that the Lord lets us start over.........after we realize we need HIM..........all the time! He is such a Redeemer is He not?

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder.
    Blessings, Linda
    Prairie flower Farm

  4. And yet, each missed opportunity is also one in which Jesus patiently instructs us, training our eyes to see the next hurting person He puts in our path. We grow up into this maturity in Christ--it doesn't come to us all at once. Trust me and my gray hair; I'm still growing ever-so-slowly and painfully sometimes.

  5. That was put lovely. It reminds us of what we should be doing in our lives instead of centering around our own selves. I always feel happiest when I am helping someone, if only praying for them. But, I am also still on my own journey of letting go of myself and giving to others. :)

  6. ah, yes. i do this often, and i'm glad for the conviction that follows. (i'm praying that the lag between the two will shorten till the conviction beats my self-absorption to the scene.)

    thanks for this.

  7. Self true is that. Thank you so much for your message. It really spoke to MY self. Blessings!

  8. I have left a store only to have the face of strangers haunt me for years. I pray for these nameless people and I wonder where they are now. My self, I would rather just turn away from them, but God won't let me. There's just too much pain.

  9. Confession is good for the soul, mine benefits from hearing yours. Me, too. I share this wonky vision that has me looming large blocking other's needs from my view.

  10. This happens to me more than I care to admit. Annoyance at someone who isn't playing by my rules. He's so patient with us, isn't He? Ah, but you heard His voice and you listened. Next time...

  11. So many times this happens to me. So good for our Lord to remind us.

  12. Thanks for the transparency, I've been on both sides of the coin, on one under pressure and then realizing later my rudeness and then it is so embarrassing, and on the other when people annoy me with their rudeness, but this is a good reminder that most of the time it is not intentional rudeness, just the pressures of life.
    and she can still be prayed for :-)

  13. oh friend... isn't it amazing how the holy spirit catches up with us and quietly reprimends/teaches/comforts/loves us? this is something i could really relate to... thank you, for being so real with us. love you. e.

  14. this is so full of the missed opportunities...always grace, you know, but He does allow our hearts to ache for 'what might have been'...I so claim Phil. 3:14? I think about 'forgetting what is behind'...pray much and hard for them and well, keep limping along...I related to all of this and melt at your beautiful heart:)

  15. The Holy Spirit reminding you will be the open door for he next opportunity. He's preparing you for what lies ahead.
    Thank you for your transparent story that gives wisdom and direction to others.


  16. Lovely piece, reminding me that every moment is worth paying attention to for it is at such moments I have the potential to be most surprised and most inspired.

    I discovered you through 'imperfect prose' and in fact my very first offering is called Transcendence in the City Dump - - a piece about what happens when we stop to listen. Thanks for the visit, I'll be back...


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