Lemme back up a little bit. We've been out of bread for several days around here, which means, no sandwiches to take for lunch. I've been to the grocery store several times already this week and each time, I forget the bread. And that's not all. We were also out of milk. I had used the last of it the night before for Luke's bottle and I knew that he would want a bottle after we took the boys to school. So obviously, a trip to the market was in order. Well, today, for some reason, I was actually running early and had some time to go pick these things up before going to school. So I loaded all three boys into the van and headed to the corner market.
Again, lemme preface this by saying that we do not live in a ritzy area. at. all. Our neighborhood is older and well established, but very modest. And that's ok.. but "around the corner" (which is actually around several corners, about a half mile or so) it's pretty seedy. Put it this way.. there were three grown men outside of said *corner market* brown baggin' it this morning at 9am.
So after a laborious lecture of "don't touch anything, don't ask for anything, be nice to your brother, no I don't need that, put that cart back, didn't I JUST tell you no? we are only here for bread and milk", yada yada, I get all the kids in the store with me. We pushed past the banana stand (oops, lemme grab just a small bunch of those!) and strolled along the far wall (oh yummy, those crackers look good)..and we finally reached the bread. Two loaves in, with minutes to spare.
Then we headed over to the refrigerated section. *M* not being self aware yet, pushed his way past a man that was opening the case. He tried to grab a gallon of milk for me, but it was too heavy for his scrawny little arms to lift up and out, so the man leaned into help him. But in all reality, he totally cut off the man holding the door.
I quite sternly told *M* that he needed to wait his turn and to get out of the man's way. He was tall and kinda thin, wearing the marks on his face of a hard life. His hair looked a little dirty, his clothes didn't appear to be freshly laundered, his teeth were a wreck, but he was smiling while allowing my 5 year old to jump ahead of him. I was very proud of myself for reminding my son, publicly of course, how to treat other people. (Humfp! Yeah right all that was missing was my finger wagging in the boy's face). And in a split second, what I really thought in my head was: "eew, I hope you didn't touch the same milk that man did".
"Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every intent of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually..."Genesis 6:5
And there you have it.
In the quiet of the store, my ugly heart shouted from within me, but no body was around to hear it >>whew!<<. or was there? Yep, God heard it. loud and clear. And immediately I was embarrassed. Ashamed of myself. Literally, I could feel my face flushing... And then, as if the first thought wasn't bad enough, I tried to justify it by thinking.."But.. but...but... what if that man has hepatitis or something? eew. He was touching everything. It's people like *THAT* that cough and get nasty germs all over things. Oh gosh. Lucas please don't lick the handle of the cart. Crap! I forgot his shopping cart cover in the car!!"
When did this happen? when did I become afraid of other people? What does it mean?
"Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor...Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love
is the fulfillment of the law..."
Zechariah 8:17 & Romans 13:10
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels." Hebrews 13:2
For all I know, that man could have been an angel. The very image of Jesus Himself. And I effectlvely spit in the face of my...HIS...Creator. So what now? Quite frankly, I don't know. But I do know this: if a tree falls in the forest, SOMEONE will hear it.