Thursday, February 6, 2014

Plastic Grocery Bags

First off I am a recycle nut! I recycle everything I can! At first it was just paper and cardboard and anything that goes in the recycling bin. Now it's a lot more than that so when we put the garbage can and recycling bin out on trash day, the garbage can is mostly empty.

Grocery bags are something I started recycling a couple years ago. As soon as the grocery and hardware stores started putting recycling bins near their entrances I jumped on that wagon too. I have also begun recycling every other type of plastic bag, the plastic bread and veggies bags, tp plastic packaging, all of it. I clean all bags and let them dry before taking them to recycle each week. It pains me to see all that goes in the trash and landfills. Not sure what has come over me but I want to recycle all that I can!!!

So anyway, here is a story relating to grocery bags I wanted to share. It doesn't have to do with recycling but offered me a new perspective yesterday. I sometimes lose sight of what is important in my daily activities - I try with everything I can not to, but there are those days and moments... Yesterday I was having one.

Yesterday I was struggling at the grocery store. I cruised the aisles to try and quickly pick up a few items and it seemed like no matter how fast I went, time dragged and it took forever just to pick up a few things. I had both my kids with me, they weren't behaving how I wanted them to. They fussed over riding in the cart so I let them walk. I got them free cookies at checkout to help keep them quiet. They were dancing around and you wouldn't have thought I had just taken them to a public gym to get all their energy out. 

Anyhow I had parked really close to the front door and as I walked our groceries out, with a child on either side of the cart, I was getting kind of frustrated. I caught the eye of a middle-aged man and tried to humorously joke with him, commenting on how my grocery trip would take a lot less time if I came at night without my kids. He smiled a warm smile. I thought he was going to joke back, but instead he asked for prayers saying he had four kids at home and was struggling to feed them because of a job loss and lack of money. He reluctantly asked me if I had any money to help and to please pray for him and his family. He rode his bike to the store. He stood away from my car giving space as not to scare me.
After I got my kids in the car, I dug into my purse and found a $5 bill. I NEVER have cash on me but found some and he was extremely appreciative. I think there was good reason I actually had cash on me. Anyway, I was unloading my groceries and asked myself what Jesus would do. I put a bag of chicken and a package of rice in a plastic grocery bag and asked if he would like that for his family. He was extremely appreciative again and offered to return my cart for me so I wouldn't have to leave my car. I took him up on it and he again asked me to keep his family in my prayers.

I'm not normally trusting of strangers safety first and I teach my children that you cannot trust a stranger. This was one of those situations though where I was struggling and this man helped me to see what was important in that moment. I know I helped him too. It's so weird how something can happen to totally shift your perspective on what is right. Yes, I was a stranger to him and he was a stranger to me but we each helped each other and I'll be keeping him in my prayers.

On that note, have a great rest of the week. xoxo