My husband and I share shopping responsibilities when purchasing our staples at the grocery store. I, on the other hand, do most of the shopping, simply because who wouldn’t want to get the most for their buck these days right?
My patience with strolling down the aisles looking for good deals, no matter how long it takes is the type of patience my husband does not share with me. He, on the other hand, is very focused to go in, get what he needs, get out and on his way. I like the idea of searching the aisles more methodically, seeking for something new to try, and discovering great sales on staples to stock up on.
While the grocery store would not seem to be the most ideal place to strike up conversations and socialize, I’ve found that the conversations somehow find me. I run into many people with stories, genuine stories of heartbreaking grief, but their loneliness leads them to the grocery aisles finding themselves now making adjustments in how much they are buying. These conversations are like poetry – heartfelt stories told in an abbreviated timeframe.
Thumbing through sale items or waiting for the associate to restock products that have literally flown off the shelves, you may randomly strike up a conversation about that particular out-of-stock sale item, which leads to some intimate details of that individual’s unexpected and sorrowful life changes. Yet, in just a few moments, these conversations of loss, loneliness, and heartbreak lead me to a greater place of understanding, compassion, and gratitude.
I don’t personally know these individuals I strike up such random conversations with. I don’t know if they are rich or poor, their political affiliation, their religious convictions or educational aptitude. I don’t care if they are cultural opposites of me or even their sexual preferences. I just recognize that I am speaking to another human being, another child of God who just needs a moment to talk, and a moment for me to listen. I will probably never ever see these individuals again, but in that one moment in time there is simply an intimate connection of the spirit and shared compassion of the encouragement we genuinely give to others with sincere agape love.