Story Time. Me, Sawyer, Cadence.

An Abundance of Graces
Last week brought crud, partings, and losses. The weekend began with news of the death of our brother-in-law’s sister. Our niece, Vaite, left us on Tuesday, winging away on a midnight flight from LAX to return to her home in Tahiti. Rich incubated a crummy summer cold to its hatching point on Wednesday. Friday morning we awoke to the horrific heartbreak of massacre in Colorado. By Friday night a telltale scratchiness lurked in my throat.

Saturday morning my dad called. “Sorry,” he told me, “Something’s come up. Mercedes and I can’t come for dinner tonight after all.” I deflated. I’d been looking forward to a nice visit with Dad and his bride. We expected my daughter, Elaine, and her boys, too, and I thought it would be her last chance to visit with her grandfather before she flies back to Hawaii next week.

I felt a little fog of funk settle over my heart as I left the house. Oh well, I told myself. I’ll enjoy the visit with Elaine and the boys, anyway. Outside my grocery store some boys sold cupcakes, raising money for their sports program.

My wallet held no cash, so I was helpless to assist. I felt the fog thickening, my mood darkening, as I pushed a cart into the store. “Helpless” could be this week’s theme word, I grumbled to myself.

Just inside the door, two men and a little girl stood, expectant smiles brightening their faces. “We’re collecting food for South County Outreach,” One of the men explained. He offered me a red plastic bag and a flyer.

“How late are you here today?” I asked.

“Four more hours,” he smiled.

“And this list tells me what you need?” I asked, waving the flyer. He nodded.

I made my way through the store, collected the items I needed for that evening’s dinner and a few items for the food bank. Peanut butter. Rice. Canned Fruit. Spaghetti.

As I gathered groceries, I overheard a mother ask her son, “What’s on the list?” I turned and saw the red plastic bag in her cart. Rounding the corner on my way to the dairy case, I nearly collided with a man, a red plastic bag flying like a little flag from his cart. He’d been reading the food bank’s wanted list as we navigated the same corner of the store.

Almost every wrong thing in this world is beyond my power to fix. Yet I believe–I must believe–that I’m obligated to do what little I can, when I can.

We can afford a few extra groceries.

When I leave this store, I’m returning home to a husband who loves me.

Tonight, I’ll play with my grandsons, maybe read them a story.

Grace–abundant grace–burns through that funky fog. And I’m heading for that hopeful shore. 

15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NASB)

I’m linking up today with Duane Scott at Scribing the Journey for Unwrapping His Promises.

And I’m linking with Jennifer Lee at Getting Down with Jesus for God-Bumps and God-Incidences. 

They’ll be much better parties if you stop by.