It had been a long week. My to-do list was happily spitting out another bullet point every time I turned my back, mocking my efforts to stay on top of it. Our Sunday evening church service felt like the first time I could sit back and relax. And I did. Until I started mentally running through my list for the coming week.
Right at the top of the list – kid’s lunches. A mental trip through my fridge and pantry assured me that no matter how creative my efforts, my children would not be taking anything sensible for lunch unless we stopped at a grocery store on the way home.
As soon as we pulled into the grocery store parking lot, there was a chorus from the back of the van,
“We haven’t even had supper.”
“My stomach is eating itself.”
“How are we supposed to survive without food; it doesn’t work, you know.”
Though it sounds dire, this is a predictable pattern. We almost always eat before heading to church. The church always provides a substantial snack after the service. And yet every Sunday this refrain is repeated. We assured the children that our plan has never been to starve them, and that the whole purpose of our trip to the store was to purchase some form of sustenance for them.
Knowing a ‘quick’ shopping trip with four kids is an impossibility, Rob and I turned up the radio, opened some windows, and locked the doors, before heading into the grocery store without our offspring. We raced through the aisles with great efficiency, made it through the line-up incident free, and drove our overflowing cart out the doors in record time.
As is likely always the case, starved prisoners are quick to spot approaching rations. Our children began calling to us through the open windows as soon as we entered their line of sight.
I shoved a bunch of bananas and a pack of croissants into Rob’s hands and asked him to distribute the food while I quickly put the groceries in the back of the van.
Now, we are used to getting looks from passing strangers, and most of the time it’s warranted. But as I was loading the groceries into the van, I noticed a lady watching us very closely. She walked slowly and lingered a little before calling out as she passed by, “Are they wild?”
Rob answered with something I didn’t hear, I laughed and shrugged. But inside I was a little offended. I mean, yes, they are loud and a little crazy, but they’re mine. And it’s one thing for me to make comments about them, but it’s another thing when comments come from a complete stranger in a situation where they seem unwarranted.
I parked the empty cart and hopped into my seat before turning to Rob. I noticed he was chuckling to himself. “What was that all about,” I questioned him. Rob laughed and proceeded to tell me, that he had never even opened the van door. He had been shoving bananas and croissants at greedy hands reaching through open windows.
Sort of like using a stick to push a carcass at a hungry lion.
And I got to thinking. Is there anything I’m feeding from a distance? Things I’m pushing food at from behind my side of a protective barrier?
Because, maybe, if you have to feed it with a stick, you shouldn’t.
Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.