The Food Lion Incident

Almost two years ago my husband and i had a (then) four year old and a mortgage to maintain. I found myself rushing into Food Lion. There were some things I had forgotten. I found myself remembering my WIC vouchers. So I  pulled them out and began to go through the items listed. There were a couple gallons of milk available to me because I did not get them on my previous trip. “Hmm I can cook the the extra,” I thought. I began to walk down the aisle and a lady in a nurse uniform came my way. Very nice looking. In her hands she carried a few items and in the other a key chain that caught my eye. It was one of those cute girly things we all love with a sparkling cross on it. You know the type of key chain they advertise at Bible book stores. I can remember smiling at her as she made her way down, a compliment on the tip of my tongue. However, her eyes went to my cart and the bread, cheese, and milk it held, then to the voucher in my hand. Her mouth pulled down into a sneer and her eyes narrowed as she then made a show of pursuing me up and down. Shaking her head in disgust, mumbling about “those people” she went on her way. Her assessment stopped me in my tracks. It was like I had been punched in the gut. Panic rose and a knot formed in my throat. I pushed my cart with shaking arms searching for an aisle without blobs people had become through the lens of my tears. In those moments I felt so sick I actually thought of putting everything back. In 20 seconds this random woman whom I identified with as a sister because of a symbol I love ripped me to shreds. Made me feel like some bottom feeder. How sad is that? I made my way to the register where I got my groceries. I never went back to get WIC again.

This experience has played in my mind many times over the past couple of years. I can still remember her eyes and the moment my line of thought was crushed. It was a very difficult lesson for me. But I realize for the place I was at in Christ, he was teaching me that key chains and stickers on the backs of our cars do not matter.When he is not in your heart they are just symbols, empty noise to a God who revels in song. I would ask us to examine ourselves and if we have outward symbols that represent Christ, whether is be crosses on our jewelry, religious tattoos, etc. Now that I have come into a deeper relationship with Christ  I also recognize that her contempt was not even worthy of my reaction. But I had the reaction none the less and the pain of that moment was very real. Make sure that these things are not beautiful symbols that reflect the exact opposite of what we say and do. People are watching the body of Christ. It would serve us well to fulfill the call and reflect him.


And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.-

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)





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