I walked to my car with my three bags of groceries just trying to hold back the tears until I could be alone with my shattered, yet thankful heart. I only had three bags of groceries because that was all that I needed – not because it was all that I could afford…God used me today and I am truly humbled.
She approached me in the bread aisle with her two teenage boys… “Ma’am, is there any way that you might could help us out with some groceries?” Honestly, I’m so tainted from working in Cedar Grove for ten plus years, that my first reaction was one laced with skepticism. I actually said out loud, “This makes me uncomfortable.” She had heard way worse than that – I could tell by the way her expression never changed. I told her that I would be happy to buy her groceries and to get what she needed – I would meet her up front to check out shortly.
We crossed paths on a few aisles – she awkwardly thanked me and I told her that it was no problem. As I was wrapping up with my list, I decided that I would get her a gift card with a certain amount of money on it – just in case she went overboard with her shopping. I stood in line for a bit before I saw her and her boys approaching with their grocery cart. In her buggy were bread, frozen shrimp and a bottle of soda. My reasoning for giving her a gift card changed immediately. I told her what I was going to do and she was shocked.
Interestingly enough, Michael and I had JUST had a discussion about our finances for the week. We were pleased that we would be blessed this week to live comfortably, with little financial stress – a much needed gift! Now, I normally would have gone to the grocery store closest to my kids’ school, but I needed to drop something off for work – so I changed my route and chose a different one…The one where this particular woman and I were destined to meet up.
God chose me to help her. He trusted me to help His child…When I whispered in her ear the amount on the card, she immediately teared up and began to tell me her story. She had been in Shreveport for around thirty days and was trying to get a job with the sister company to the one that she had left in Texas. Relocating was proving to be more difficult than she had anticipated. I told her that there was no shame in asking for help…I wrapped my arms around her and prayed for her in the middle of that busy grocery store.
I could hardly hold back my tears when the teenager scanning my groceries at the register said to me, “That was so sweet.” I started crying and told him that the woman just wanted to feed her kids…It didn’t feel like I was being sweet – it felt like I was helping my sister in need. When I got in my car – I broke down. I was so overwhelmed by the simple fact that God used me in that family’s life. I was humbled by the fact that I was actually stressing about my own circumstances before being confronted with this woman’s.
I was about to pull into the second drive entering Calvary’s Academy – the one that I always pull through to pick up my babies from school – before I quickly changed my mind and headed into the first one instead. I needed to talk to a true friend and I had a good feeling that she would be in the dome. I found my sister in Christ and shared my experience with her. I cried and told her how I was just so thankful that God used me…And then God used her. She lifted me up with words filled with encouragement and love. I left her with dry eyes and a full heart.
…’For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25: 35-40