Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sour Grapes

Yesterday I went to the grocery store for just a few items.  It amazes me how that can multiply once you see what's on sale or what your hungry belly decides it will implode without.  I was instantly in a bad mood upon entering the store due to the insane amount of tourists/dipnetters in town that were clogging "my" store.  I tried to quickly gather the items on my list plus one (I only allow myself one item off my list, so I consider carefully!), and get to the long check out lines.

I was in the produce section when I was stopped in my tracks.  There she was: a woman in her late 50's or early 60's (old enough to know better) and not looking as though she was starving was helping herself to the apparent buffet of grapes.  I was horrified.  I blatantly stared and hoped she'd catch my eye and my expression of "Are you seriously eating those grapes of which you have not paid?".  I even thought in correct grammar!  Anyway, she never looked up at me and kept her focus on her sampling of the grapes.  She was talking to herself and muttering that she thought they tasted good!  Perhaps she would go ahead and actually pay for some.  I finally had to leave lest my rising anger would spill over and I would start pointing at her and yell "THIEF!  SHE'S STEALING GRAPES!  GET HER!"

Seriously.  I really wanted to start yelling.  I could not believe the brazenness of this woman to literally steal food in front of so many.  Apparently, I was not the only one who lacks the self-control to confront someone of their error in a positive manner as she wasn't stopped by anyone else.

As I drove home, I replayed that scene in a million different ways with my favorite being the time I posed as a police officer who was off duty.  That was fun!  Probably not what Jesus would have done, however.  I'd love to know what He would have done.  Hmmm.  He may have had some insights that I didn't.  Still, I was really angry about this woman's blatant disregard for what was right.  I couldn't shake it.  Didn't she realize how unsanitary it was, regardless of the whole fact that she was eating for free?  I couldn't sleep last night for the replay going on in my mind.

I finally asked myself why on earth was something so trivial bothering me so deeply?  I don't really know.

Then I wondered why the other injustices that go on in front of me, so much more with modern media, go without such a reaction.  Shouldn't the fact that little girls in the tent cities of Haiti are being raped every day make me more angry?  Shouldn't the fact that over 26,500 children will die just today from preventable diseases stemming from bad water, no food, or a mosquito bite make me sick to my stomach?  Why doesn't the knowledge that just now a 15 year old girl got kicked out of a Russian orphanage with little more than what was on her back and no hope of help from anyone but a member of a sex slave organization make me want to yell and scream?

Actually it does.  Sometimes.

One thing I just can't do anymore is to get emotionally upset at the injustices and then walk away.  Perhaps that was the best thing for me to do at the grocery store under the circumstances, though maybe I should have mentioned it to a manager, but I cannot walk away and just think about how wrong things can be.  I must do something.  It can be overwhelming to see statistics about what is happening in our world.  I've chosen to forget the statistics and focus on one.  There is one that can be helped by something I can do.  Just think if we all focused on just one.  Or two.  At least one at a time.  God doesn't expect us to do more than what He equips us to do.  If He equips us, we must obey and not walk away mumbling to ourselves how terrible "it" is.

1 comment:

  1. AMEN! I've been there, as a child, with my Mom; feasting and today I am horrified to see this happen; just last week I saw a Mother pushing her child allowing that child to feast on a roll from the bakery. If I could ever ever go back and relive to make a difference for those choices, I would. The blessing is, like you said, today we can change our world, by one person at a time, and for Yolanda, it begins with me.

    Love to you!