I am being very careful where I go and how I interact with others during this pandemic.  Yes.  I wear a mask.  If I am away from home and in the presence of others, I will wear my mask.  It is not comfortable.  It is annoying.  It fogs up my glasses and makes it hard for me to see.  I am constantly having to pull my glasses up over my eyes to let them clear up.  However, it is a small price to pay to stay safe.  I have a very compromised immune system.  So does my adult son who lives with my husband and me.  He also lives with a chronic and debilitating illness.  I will do whatever I need to do to keep him safe.

Today, I went to the grocery store.  It has been a good while since I have been.  Usually Don goes, or I do the order pickup.  But, today, I needed to go inside.  Armed with sanitizer and mask, I set about my task.  As it always happens, when I go to the store in person, I buy way more than I do when I call in an order.  I had a full buggy…overflowing, even.  Publix is such a nice store to shop in.  They always help unload my groceries from my cart, and then push  and load them into my car.

A nice young man was helping me to the car today.  This is the conversation that followed:

YM…Are you doing OK today, ma’am?

T…Yes, I am doing well, thank you.  But, I would be better if I didn’t have the job of unloading and putting up all these groceries!

Immediately, I was convicted that I should not have said that.  How ungrateful of me to fuss about putting up groceries, when there are people who are hungry and would love to have the opportunity to put up what I bought today.  The Lord quickened my spirit as soon as I said those words.  And, what a terrible example to set for this young man.

I spoke up quickly…

T… That was very ungrateful of me to say that!  I am blessed to be able to put up these groceries.  I am blessed to be able to purchase groceries in a nice store.  And, I am blessed to have you help me load them up.  I am ashamed I said that.

YM…(I could see a smile in his eyes.)  I know there are so many places where people cannot even buy groceries, but in America, we have so much.

T…We are so fortunate to be born in America and live here.  I bought more groceries today than usual, but I had lists of what favorite things the people in my house wanted.  Some people are happy to have whatever is given to them.

YM…Ma’am, you have made my day!  Every day I help folks load up their groceries and almost everybody has something to complain about.  Either it’s raining, or it’s too hot,   or the grocery bill was too high, or they have to go to work,  or they have to unload their packages when they get home.  I am just happy to have a job.  I would like to be doing something else, but this is what I have.  If people want to work, they can.  I love America!

T…Well, you have made my day, as well!  I am so happy to hear what a fine outlook you have on life.  God is so good to us.  We forget to be thankful so often.  I am so sorry I started our conversation off with a complaint.

YM…No, problem, Ma’am.  It makes my heart happy to hear someone giving praise to God.

T…Well, I hope your day today is full of blessings and gratitude!  God bless you!

And, I left.  Oh, my!  What a lesson I received in that parking lot.  I am so thankful the Holy Spirit convicted me and so thankful I spoke up and retracted my statement.  Hopefully, this young man will think on this and learn from it, too.  It sounds as if he already has a pretty good start on being grateful!

There is so much turmoil and strife and stress and evil going on between people these days.  We may not can speak to a large crowd to spread God’s message.  But, we can do it on a one to one basis.  We always have the chance to be kind and spread joy and kindness.