One of those “One Time in the Grocery Store” stories…

This is exactly what happened tonight, no exaggerations, no overblown drama added. It was only while I waited for a cashier at the grocery store that the sequence of events came to me and… well. Here!

I went to the library to return a few books and pick up a few more. As I left, I checked the “Community Events” bulletin board like I normally do. I saw a bright colored poster, which I stopped to read – a comedian was going to do a show, sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Syracuse/Rochester (the speaker was noted as ‘pro life’ and a ‘woman’s rights advocate’). Right next to that was a black-Times-New-Roman-on-white-paper sign advertising the free GED classes available at the Catholic church right up the street. I walked out of the library, mulling this over – the odd contrast of those two things right next to each other. My main thought was, and which one is really helping women? Sad.
(My opinions are fairly well known, but in case you missed it, I’m pro-life. And anti-abortion. FYI.)

So I left the library and went to the grocery store. As I walked up to the carts with my quarter, I sent off a quick text to the boyfriend that said “I really really really hate Planned Parenthood”. Yep, that’s it. What can I say? That’s how I felt at that moment. His immediate response: “I know.” I walked into the store and slowly made my way down the aisle, looking at my short list and trying to figure out where everything was. (They just did a store redesign.) An older man, with balding grey hair and a white tshirt, turned to me in the aisle and said: “Do you believe in the devil?” With a quick thought of umm,what I responded “Yes. I definitely do.” He replied, “So do I. You know, sometimes I think the devil has more power than God.” My response to him was nothing more than, “On that I certainly disagree with you.” He mumbled something to the effect of “maybe” and ambled down the aisle.

I found the butterscotch chips, coffee beans, etc., and sent a few texts to the boyfriend telling him about the exchange. How very random, I thought. And then as I carried my bag o’ groceries out to the car, the Bible verse “Hebrews 13:2” came to mind. It’s one of my favorites, and I had hoped I remembered the citation right – it’s the verse that says, in various translations,

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (RSV)

Well, I’m not quite sure what all happened tonight. Was random guy in the grocery store an angel? I mean, I’ll never know. But I can tell you that our short exchange reminded me of something that the somewhat depressing PPact sign had made me forget:

God Is Bigger. Than all things. Including the devil and all his empty promises.

So take it for what you while, but I couldn’t not share that exchange. And if you’re interested in other “in which I talk to random people” exchanges, don’t miss “In Which I Meet the General In the Adoration Chapel”… seriously.

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