Choices

I get overwhelmed at the grocery store. 5,347 kinds of cereal. I want to scream, “Just tell me what to eat!”

So many choices. Even more choices that I don’t realize.

The other night, I made a mad dash to the store to pick up something that was free until 9pm. I pulled into the parking lot. In front of me, there was a woman with a beat-up car. Paint peeling, hood up. She and her teenage son faced the engine.

“Anything I can help you with?” I asked, having no idea what I could do to help since I can barely pump gas. The woman hardly acknowledged me. She glanced my way and mumbled something. Maybe my husband had informed her of my auto handicap. I moved closer.

“I think it’s the battery,” she offered, still facing the silent engine.

“I have this contraption in my car that might help.” I retrieved it and noticed for the first time that it had cords. We untangled them as I phoned a friend.

“Tom, there is a woman who needs her battery jumped. Yes. I have it. All right, I won’t cross the cables.”

I informed her son. “Don’t cross the cables,” hoping he knew what that meant.

We tried. Mosquitos feasted on our heels. The car remained mute. Her son kept removing the cables to avoid being electrocuted. Or whatever happens when you do that.

“Johnny, don’t keep turning that off!”

“It might explode, Mama!”

The woman looked so tired. I think she’d had–to quote a famous children’s book, “A terrible, no-good, very bad, day,” and wanted to move to Australia.

But what if she couldn’t move? What if she didn’t know who to call, or didn’t have access to a phone. What if she had no options. I contemplated that as I left my contraption with them to retrieve a few things in the store before closing.

I realized the choices that I have that I hadn’t even considered. I could call AAA. I could have the car towed and maybe have the loose wires fixed. If I wanted to, I could buy a different car.

I’m not saying that more choices make me happier. Sometimes, I think it sows the seeds of discontentment. But that night as I thought of the tired mother and her teenage son, a wave of both thankfulness and love came over me.

Thankful to the Lord for HIs provision. Love for this lady with an old car and a teenage son.

When I went back to the car, an older gentleman who knew how not to cross the cables was helping.

The car still wouldn’t start.

“You guys had dinner yet?”

“I was gonna fix dinner when I got home.”

“Take my frozen pizza. It’s all vegetable, but maybe you might like it.”

The son frowned. The woman smiled. It was a pretty sight.

One Comment on "Choices"

  1. Sarah says:

    Tthis is wonderful! Seriously one of the best things you’ve ever written! Made me cry

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