Monday, July 20, 2009

God in the grocery store....

Yesterday was just another Sunday, same routine, same schedules....
...but as anyone knows about one day is exactly the same as another. God always sneaks those little lessons in there to remind you of just how remarkable and mysterious His creations are and more importantly how remarkable His love is.

In recent years I have become more aware of these little "mysteries" and I find myself marveling at least once a day (but probably should be MUCH more) at His amazing design.

Back to was a "typical" day...go to church, eat lunch, spend too much money at Target, buy groceries and head home to get Jude down for a real nap since his morning one is usually preempted or disturbed by the aforementioned schedule.

The day went as planned, church was crowded (had to sit on the opposite side of the sanctuary...GASP!), lunch was yummy (tried an actual meal at the new DQ in Tomball), spent too much money at Target when we had only planned on getting 2 or 3 things...and then it was off to the grocery store...our little worn out troop in tow.

Jude has been cutting his first year molars this past week and has been crazy clingy/whiny/annoying. And since he is a big ol' Daddy's boy, he cries like a madman every time Terry leaves his sight. In church I was merely taking Jude to change his diaper and he screamed the whole way out of the sanctuary and into the restroom. Not like him at all. Usually such a well-adjusted kid.

Anyway, by the time we got to the grocery store I was getting to the fed-up stage. I was feeling helpless about what to do for Jude who kept fussing for no reason and I was frustrated with Terry for continually falling victim to the little manipulator's cries (which shut off instantly as soon as Daddy plucked him from the shopping cart). I know that instead of being helpless and frustrated I should have taken 5 seconds to say a little prayer for patience and understanding, but I didn't.

So here we are making our way through the store, Terry carrying Jude in his arms, letting him "help" put stuff in the cart, Cecilia pushing the cart and very likely annoyingly yapping my ear off and me...poor me....just feeling sorry for my whole irritated situation.

Then out of the blue comes this HUGE an alarm you've never heard, sending waves of disturbance straight down to my very core. Over and over I hear this scream. I can't even pinpoint what is making the noise...only what direction it is coming from. The other end of our aisle is what I deduct. The noise keeps coming. It starts like a blood-curdling scream, but ends on such an odd note that I STILL can't figure out what it is. Cecilia and I are looking at each other with faces of confusion and shock and by this point I am ready to walk over there and see for myself what it is. Then I hear it coming up the next aisle over. I decide to mosey on around to "glance" down that aisle to um...yeah...."check to see if I need anything that way". So yes, I was just going to be nosey. Anyway, I head around that way and as I come around the corner of my aisle I hear a grown man from my right side laughing out loud at what I am about to see on my left side. It was simply a boy...not a small boy, mind you, but a boy who is at least 12 years old, sitting in the cart that his father is pushing. The boy is screaming maybe 3 second intervals, making this horrific noise. He isn't visually upset or throwing a fit....just making the noise.

My first reaction was anger. Not at this boy and his father, but at the grown man who I hear laughing behind me. It is obvious that the boy in the cart is autistic and truly has no control over what noises he makes or how he behaves. And in that 2 second interaction between me, the laughing man, the boy and his father, I am struck with shame.

Shame first of all that I feel for the man who is laughing at this boy. How dare he?! Even if there were nothing wrong with the boy and we were just seeing a VERY strange parenting style in play, there is no reason for someone to LAUGH OUT LOUD at someone who is obviously going through a tough moment. I found that so incredibly ridiculous, insensitive and ignorant.

The other shame I felt was for myself.

The boy and father passed me and my oh-so-non-chalant glance down their aisle, so I turned to head back to my crew and then I saw them from behind..the boy still screaming methodically and the father....that father...doing all he knew to do for his son who was obviously having his version of a meltdown as they tried to clear out of the store. All that father could do for his son was rub his son's head...rub his head as if to say, "I'm sorry son. I'm sorry that you're having a tough time. I'll do what I can to make it better, but just know that I love you no matter how bad things are".

How ashamed I felt. How ashamed I feel now as I cry just writing this out. My little son...blessed with good health...not challenged with blindness, deafness or autism...only causing me a moment's grief in the lifetime of happiness that he will give me and his family. Here I was angry with him for irritating me. Now how ridiculous is that? How much worse am I than that stupid laughing man? I have love given to me daily from the 3 precious people that I live with and I dismiss that love instantly with my frustration and irritation. Why can I not excuse my children's imperfections as easily as Jesus forgives my massive sins daily?
Do I dare to believe that I am better than Jesus?

No, of course not.

I will never be able to give my family the perfect love that they deserve, because perfect love only comes from God. But I can do more for them than I have been. I can appreciate the miracle they have been to me. I pray that the Holy Spirit keeps lighting that fire of recognition that was lit yesterday in the grocery store. I don't want to forget how much love I have been given and I don't want to waste another moment being "irritated" when I have so much love to give.

I hope to always remember that perfect love that started with a Father and a Son....

1 John 4:7-12
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Okay, now I am crying - Mom