Last weekend my husband and I stopped in to do a “quick shop” at Walmart before going to a movie. My un-written shopping list included a few things that I knew I could buy there for a lower price than my local supermarket. My husband’s un-written list included any obscure item that he may just need some day that may be on sale for a price he couldn’t pass up.
My husband had the cart. We parted ways in the Personal Hygiene aisle but I thought for sure I’d have no trouble finding him in Bread and Condiments soon after since he had the assignment of getting peanut butter. Just in case, however, I scouted around for a hand basket for the couple of items I had already picked up. None were in plain view – and neither was husband with cart. Oh, well, they weren’t that heavy. I could manage.
Walking purposefully toward the grocery aisles, my eye caught sight of some large kitchen trash bags. We were out of those, so I snatched them up. Ah! Then I saw that the center display had the granola bars I wanted on special, so I went for the bigger cost-saving box and continued on. My armload was getting heavier and more cumbersome. Glancing up, down, and around, there was no husband with cart in sight. I could try reaching him on my cell phone but that would be tricky, so with mismatched parcels slipping and sliding, I walked on toward the last item I wanted – the eggs.
It was there, in front of the eggs priced 60 cents per dozen less than at my local market, that I realized I needed help. Adding a couple of dozen eggs to the already precarious load I was juggling did not seem at all prudent. And where was my husband, after all? Exasperated, I dumped my armload in a bin of Oscar Meyer wiener wanna-be’s and fished out my cellphone. My husband picked up on the first ring and without delay (and without yet securing a jar of peanut butter) rushed to my assistance. What a relief it was to see him hurrying my direction with the cart (and 50 lb. bag of dog food?). Without judgment, he helped me fetch my items from the wiener bin. Together we made a plan to get the last two items on my mental list along with yes, a great sale item that had slightly distracted him. And so we made it to the movie with plenty of time to get popcorn and a good seat.
Communion of life with Jesus through Blessed Mom means seeing the mundane with the eyes of faith. How did I unpack my little escapade above? In my daily life, there are those few things that are necessary for me to have or to do in order to be a responsible functioning adult. Those things alone are enough to ask Blessed Mom to “put in her cart” – to help me carry. Oh, I may make a weak effort to find her most times but I’m likely to think to myself, “Oh, well. They aren’t that heavy. I can manage.” So then I continue on, becoming distracted with this and that – things that seem important or advantageous at the time, adding them on to my load of commitments or activities and then reaching the point where to “pull out my phone” or make a real supplication for help is so much more difficult because I am flustered, exasperated, or maybe just embarrassed by my ineptitude. Dropping my load of miscellaneous grocery items and asking for help saved me in the store that evening. Dropping my load of family concerns, work issues, church commitments, etc. – and asking Blessed Mom and Her Son for help, can save me too. My husband responded as my Savior does – eager to assist, not making me feel badly about my poor choices, helping me to laugh at myself and move forward to the real goal at hand. I am grateful for that and I told him so. He replied, “What else would I have done? You needed me.”
"You have to start looking at your life differently; you must look at it with the eyes of faith. Then you will see God's endless giving of graces; you will see your whole life as a multitude of hidden opportunities for continual inner transformation. You will come to know that everything is grace." Tadeusz Dajczer, The Gift of Faith, 3rd. ed. (Ft. Collins, CO: IAMF, 2012), 12.