An Altar Call at the Produce Scale

appetite-1239173_640I ran into Jesus in the produce aisle today.

Or, more accurately,
He ran into me.
At first, I was annoyed.
Dressed like a produce delivery man,
dragging a heavy metal dolly,
He rammed into my grocery cart
as I weighed zucchini
blocking the most direct path to the plastic bags.
I scowled at him.
(Not yet recognizing Him for who He was.)
To my annoyance, he wasn’t looking.
So I “humphed” and then I sighed in his general direction.
Still no acknowledgement of my presence.
But, my own crabby attitude gave me pause right there at the produce scale.
Irritability and impatience,
not so much fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Organic sins.
Funny, I thought,
wondering if this was the world’s first altar call in “aisle six.”
As I bagged the zucchini and weighed my summer squash
I reminded myself to slow down
to breathe
to give the produce man a break
for working hard, staying focused, and
probably just trying to get home in time
to see his kids.
Who knows his story?
Not I.
Slow down.
Remember you live and breathe among humans
and there’s no prize for reaching the
checkout stand first.
Then, I tried to punch in the code for the olive and roasted pepper mix
I’d carefully selected,
an indulgence for my dad’s antipasto
in honor of Father’s Day
but the scale wasn’t accepting it.
My irritation rose again
as I double-checked the code
and punched it in again.
Nuh-unh. The scale shook its head at me
rejecting my input.
That’s when produce man leaned over
and without looking up from his task
said quietly,
“Put a zero in front of the code.”
“What?” I asked. Not hearing.
“The code,” he said again. “It needs a zero in front to work.”
As he spoke, he didn’t look up. Just kept piling produce onto the stand.
I put a zero in front of the code
and the scale popped out my sticker.
“Thank you!” I exclaimed to the stranger
and he nodded without looking up.
That’s when I realized he’d probably also heard my earlier sigh,
felt my irritation
and helped me anyway.
That’s also when I recognized Him.
Jesus pops up in the oddest places
at the most annoying times.
He nudges me or puts some obstacle in my way
to get me to stop.
remember what it’s all about.
And then,
He offers quiet help
I don’t always even realize I need
until I need it,
until He’s offering it,
until it’s saving my butt.
And so often, I brush past Him
like He isn’t even there.
Like His path
only incidentally crosses mine
instead of being the path
I follow

even when I’m buying produce.

“When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.” Luke 24:30-31

How about you? Have you run into Him lately?

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    The Conversation

  1. HisFireFly says:

    this is a fantastic reminder, thank you!
    whatever you do for the least of these.
    He Is and can Be anywhere

  2. Judith Robl says:

    Well done!! Absolutely great writing and magnificent concept put in terms we all can understand. You have crept into our skin and shown us ourselves. I’m sure God is smiling at your insight and obedience. (And yes, we’ve all been there and done that — especially me.)

  3. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know anyone else who can make a simple trip to the grocery store turn into a walk into a chapel for an appointment with Him. Nice going, girl. MOMMA

  4. Thank you for the reminder that God is always by our side.

  5. Great reminder that Jesus is by our side and we need to slow down to see him. And not just brush him aside in our hurry to accomplish things on our to-do list.

  6. tina hunt says:

    This would make a really good skit.