Grocery Store Face-off
Written by Karen Anderson
The setting? The grocery store parking lot. The time? After work. Allow me to first admit that I don’t like to grocery shop at any hour of the day. Therefore, on this particular day – after work – the timing of the “incident” was not particularly the best.
Picture a baseball game…3 strikes and you’re out! For me, “strike one” was my dislike of grocery shopping, in general. Strike two…grocery shopping after work when I was tired. As for strike three, I was forced to face an angry lady in the parking lot. You see, I took her parking space. I didn’t mean to take it, but as I pulled into the space head-first, there she was about 12 feet away in her SUV coming down the lane glaring at me. She had her sights on the same parking space I had just pulled into. For a brief moment, my thought was that maybe I should back up and let her have the space. However, that thought quickly vanished, as my second thought told me it would be an unsafe move since I could possibly back into someone who might be pulling in behind me.
As I tiredly went into the store and began my shopping, I hoped I wouldn’t see her, and if she saw me, she wouldn’t recognize me. Of course neither of those two options happened and I’m sure I wasn’t imagining it, but I think she actually hunted me down until we finally faced off around the bananas. She had to promptly let me know I almost caused an accident which would have been my fault had it not been for her kind “allowance” of me to have that parking space. My first thought was, “who died and left you the parking lot patrolman?” I tried to ignore her but I could tell she just HAD to have a reaction from me. I certainly wasn’t going to apologize because I KNEW I had done nothing wrong and why didn’t she just leave me alone when I was tired and hated grocery shopping anyway? Finally, I said something rather sarcastically like, “I guess I should thank you for sparing my life by not hitting me headlong in that parking space when I was already there and unless you were blind, it would have been YOUR FAULT! “ (Not my exactly words but close enough to what I felt like saying.)
After I left the store, tired and steaming at her gall, I remembered the 106.9 the Light window decal in my back window. I wondered if she saw it. The next morning when the incident kept plaguing me, I couldn’t help but ponder what she would think if she knew I was a Christ follower. That I claim to know Jesus, love Him, and desire to live a life that represents who He is. Whether or not I was in the right or the wrong in that parking lot incident, my reaction to her actions was wrong. After confessing this terrible reflection of mine to my Savior, I have been thinking about how I need to “react” the next time I encounter another angry person. Hopefully, it will be with more grace, forgiveness, and love. After all, if He – “who knew no sin,” can forgive me, can I do any less for those who I think wrong me?
—-Even if it is after work at the grocery store.