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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Blessings Accepted
Date Posted: May 27, 2006

I met Jesus in the grocery store the other day.

He was wearing a leather jacket and khaki pants. My four-year-old son was begging for candy, as he does every time we go. I had gone in to buy one thing for my older son’s lunch and only had enough cash for that.

I told him I wasn’t going to write a check for a dollar and that he didn’t need it. To his credit, he didn’t have a screaming, whining fit. But he worked it. He pointed to one kind of candy, then another and said, "Pleeeeease?!"

Standing in front of me in line, listening, was a man probably in his late forties. I hadn’t realized he was paying any attention to us. He turned his head toward me slightly and discreetly reached back his hand and quietly said, "Here."

His hand contained several coins. "No, that’s okay." I said, rather embarrassed, "He doesn’t need it. He got candy at the store yesterday." (And he had - a sticky mess of a push-up sucker - in blue!)

"No, take it," he replied quietly. He hadn’t drawn my son’s attention and didn’t’ make a big deal of it. "I remember when my son was that age and wanted everything in the store."

I’m not used to people other than family offering to buy us things, and I’m not very gracious about accepting gifts from people I don’t know well, but something nudged me to take the change he offered. I felt that declining it would deprive him a chance to be a blessing to me.

I sheepishly took the change and thanked him. Then I turned my son from the candy rack and explained to him that this man had generously offered to buy him some candy and asked him to say thank you. He seemed puzzled, but said thank you.

This seems like a small gesture to get mushy over and if I didn’t live in a small town I might even find it creepy. But what I felt was pure, unconditional kindness from a stranger.

I felt blessed. I felt perhaps this man was even blessed. At least I hope he was.

Then I wondered how many times I have refused a gesture that could have allowed the giver to be blessed along with me, and I pondered how I could provide that type of blessing to someone else.

God’s blessings come in many forms, often through other people. I want to open my heart and be willing to accept God’s blessings however they appear - and I want to be Jesus to the people behind me in line all the check-out lines of life.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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