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By Jesse Utz 

Lessons learned standing in line

Jess Shut Up


Last updated 1/22/2014 at 9:34am

As I was standing in line at Safeway the other night, the young lady at the register was trying to buy a few things and apparently she did not have enough money. She was embarrassed and a look of worry covered her face. She was trying to get her husband/boyfriend’s attention without causing too much of a scene. He was talking with a friend and was pretty much ignoring her needs.

I have been there. Not having enough to pay for what you got or, for whatever reason, your card decides it doesn’t want to work. Embarrassment is an understatement. Normally I would not have a problem giving a stranger a couple dollars, I have done it before and strangers have helped me out, too, the same way. But on this occasion I only brought a pocket full of quarters with me to lighten the load.

Then the lady between us in line, a lady who had a small child with her, did something that truly blessed the lady who was short on cash. She asked the checker how short the other lady was and gave her cash to cover the shortage. The young mother did not make a big deal about it; she acted perfectly normal and as a matter of fact she kept a very unfazed look on her face and the lady receiving the help had a look of relief. She quickly thanked the lady and grabbed her husband/boyfriend and was gone.

There are a lot of lessons we can learn from this little encounter at the grocery store. We can look at the man’s ignoring of his woman in need. Even if he had no means to help money wise, he needed to give some emotional support of some kind. There was definitely a disconnect in their communication. I wondered what life was like at home for this young couple. It made me want to be more aware of my wife’s needs at all times. I need to be in tune with her and be ready to respond, to be the savior. And even if I don’t have the answer or solution for her need, I must be there for her, all the time.

For example, (now pay attention fellas; I’m about to give you a gold nugget for your relationship) sometimes the simple chores at home can cause a stressful situation at home. I have learned that when my wife comes home there are little things that can make her home time a little less stressful and in turn, mine too. We all know the saying, if mama’s not happy, no one’s happy. That is mostly true. So I have found a couple simple things that help alleviate stress and make for a more restful evening. OK, here it is: doing a couple little chores can make a huge difference. Dishes done, living room picked up and even dinner started can set her mind at ease and she, and in turn you, can have a little peace in your evening.

Another lesson we can take away from this is, be ready to help your community member when you can. The lady in front of me did not hesitate to help a person in need. A true lady helping her neighbor who was, maybe not in dire need, but definitely needing help. How easily we as a community ignore or fail to see people struggling right in front of us.

I have also heard this on more than one occasion: “I already give enough here or there, I don’t need to give any more.”

That attitude is a poor one. If we are going to succeed as a society, we need to be willing and wanting to help those who are right in front of us, practically begging for our help. Jim Moore at church recently used the word “Love.” We must be wanting and willing to love someone needing help. So in all reality, someone in need is really someone seeking love. But these citizens will not always be standing on a rooftop with neon signs, screaming for assistance. We must be diligent as a society to seek out those hurting. When we are all willing to do this, Coulee will bloom into something we have never seen before and it will thrive. So kudos to the lady who helped, this time with a little cash.

There are other lessons in this little moment in Safeway but I will challenge you to look at it through your eyes. I also challenge you to seek out your own good deeds in the community and learn from them. Also, seek out those who need a little love.

Congratulations to Jerry Birdwell and thanks Tylor at Safeway, “You’re a Rock Star!”


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