Grocery Parking Lot

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2

21-20-21 Journal Entry

At the store I departed with my mask still on. As I headed towards my car I noticed a man in the handicapped parking slowly getting out of his van. A motorized wheelchair cart was close by, but not lined up with his door. As he put both of his metal crutches outside the van I asked him if he was aiming for the cart? He said yes and I offered to get it closer to him. He said sure. Those things are difficult to drive. I got it close, though not close enough in my estimation. I decided to stay with him while he got situated.

This man was morbidly obese, wearing a tractor company ball cap, suspenders over his t-shirt and very old, torn jeans. Theses jeans were so old they had barely any blue color left to them. The top of the pockets were torn as was the waistband. As he very slowly stood I encouraged him to take his time until he could get his legs under him. His van windows were open. There was change all over the console.

He began to tell me that he lives on a farm, but is no longer able to farm the land. He asked if I would mind checking one of his suspender clamps in the back. Said his van seat often knocks the clip undone when he gets in. I told him that would be fine, as my husband sometimes wears suspenders, too. His were intact.

As he maneuvered to the wheelchair cart, I noticed there was a checkbook on the console of his van. I asked if he would like me to hand that to him. He said yes. I responded we don’t want to just leave that out here. He had difficulty getting the checkbook into his pocket. Turns out his pocket was full of bank envelopes that looked as if they might contain cash. Through the tears in his jeans I could see the bands for an adult diaper. He seemed so frail that I decided to remain with him until fully seated.

I had passed a tremendously long line at the pharmacy. I made certain he was not headed there, as the drive through window might be a better choice for him. He was not going there. He assured me he had his mask with him..

He has always lived on a farm he said. I asked his favorite part of farming. He used to farm tobacco, though he never used it and never drank either. But tobacco was his money crop. He also used to help his dad milk golden guernseys. He is no longer able to farm. I asked if he leased out the land for others to farm. He said yes.

A group of Guernsey cows in pasture photographed at close quarters

.Finally on the seat,  it took him a few motions to get situated firmly.  He put his crutches in the basket. I wished him well. Told him to stay safe. Saying, “This Covid is nasty stuff and killing people.” He replied, “I know.” He thanked me for my help. Placing my hand on his shoulder I asked God to bless him

This was certainly a God appointment. My timing at the store, my departure from the store, his arrival at the parking lot in a space nearby mine.. none of that was coincidence. Stay with us both Lord Jesus, I pray.

This might just be “Paying it forward.” I too have had crutches at times and drove one of those carts in stores. It is no fun. But thank God for those luxuries when one is frail!

As I walked to my car I wondered if indeed I had entertained an angel unaware of Who he was?

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