One day, I’m going to work in a grocery store. When people have a need, they will ask me. If I don’t get something, they’ll tell me a second time. They may call me a pinhead the third time, but at least I’ll know what they need. I won’t be paid a lot, but I’ll be part of that neat gang of friends that check you out and help you to the car and retrieve the buggies at night. I’ll make sure the stack of baskets at the doorway when you come in remains filled. I’ll stock shelves and make them look good for you. I’ll place and replace yellow stickers alerting you to when some really good deals are brewing.
When the weather gets rough, I’ll be working, because the grocery store will be open. Hurried and bothered people will rush by getting what they need, worried that we won’t have what they need. But we’ll have what they need, so they will go home satisfied. They may venture out in inclement weather, but they won’t feel guilty for staying home in the snow. And even if we’re out, they will likely come back and give us another try.
When the weather gets REALLY rough, I’ll stand in the back door and hand out free food. Or I’ll join the human chain loading bottles of water in trucks. I won’t complain if lawlessness takes over and vandals sack the store. I understand their desperation. I’ll be part of the process that removes day-old-but-still-rather-good bread from the shelves and gives them to the downtrodden. Yes, I’ll feed the downtrodden, because I work in a grocery store.
One thought on “Ministry in the Clinical Setting also known as the Grocery Store”
Beautiful! All at once, a metaphor for working in the church, a meditation for living a life of service, and an appreciation of the people who work in grocery stores. Thank you for this sweet prose poem. -Barbara, in the northern hills