- List All

  • Web   The Point


+ Theology/Religion + Culture + Marriage & Family + Politics + Academia + Human Rights
Christianity Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Religion Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Link With Us - Web Directory

« The Point Radio: Restless Residents | Main | Great Moments in Invective -- Blogosphere Edition »

March 06, 2009

Gratitude for a grocery list

Storelist Jennifer at Conversion Diary has a profound post up . . . about grocery lists.

. . . I got out a pen to add some things to the store list. I do this about five times every day. But this time, as I wrote "bread" and "black beans" on my little pad of paper, it hit me: I am doing something really, really amazing here. Out of the blue, I suddenly saw writing items on my grocery list in a completely different light: I realized what an incredibly -- almost unimaginable -- luxury it is to be able to simply write down what I want to feed my children, and be able to go get it. Quickly. Easily. Cheaply.

Can you imagine my great-great grandmother watching me do this? Or anyone who lives in a poverty-stricken part of the world today, or who lived more than 70 years ago? Imagine what their reaction would be to the concept that you can create your dream list of the food you'd like to put on your table, and have it there within the hour if necessary. I imagined such a person standing there, watching me write "swiss cheese," "mozzarella cheese," "olives," and "ice cream" in disbelief, perhaps asking, "You can really just go get that?! Are you royalty?", and probably not being able to fully comprehend how much abundance there really is at my local grocery store, asking, "What about butter? They don't have that ready for you, do they? Surely they don't also have things like fish, or juices, or candy?" To most people who have ever lived, the concept of regularly having enough food to feed themselves and their children would seem like a fantasy come true -- but to always have more than enough of whatever you want would be just unimaginable.

Today, as I gazed in amazement upon my store list, seeing it as if for the first time, fully appreciating how amazing it is that I can write down a wish list of things I'd like to feed my children and presumptuously assume that they will be readily available to me, I realized that this is what God's grace feels like. In my life I've occasionally been able to muster up some appreciation for my cushy American lifestyle, but to be caught off guard and just thunderstruck at the beauty of such a simple, mundane daily task...that didn't come from within me.

She goes on to say, "I realize that to some I might seem like a bit of a lunatic for writing 700 words about a store list." Not to me. I was deeply moved, because I was reminded of something that my mom recalls every time she doesn't feel like cooking: that she remembers stories about her own grandmother crying because she had nine children and not enough money to buy food for them.

We are so amazingly blessed in this time and place in which we live. And all it takes to remember that is one look at our grocery lists.

(Image © Conversion Diary)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Gratitude for a grocery list:


Shannon K

Thanks for posting this, Gina! It brought back memories of my own "grocery store moment." During my sophomore year of high school, I wrote a research paper about Orwell's Animal Farm and, as a result, had to read up quite a bit on the founding and early decades of the Soviet Union. This was my first hard look at what life could be like in another country, particularly in a poor, communist country, and was very eye-opening.

It all culminated for me in a Walmart checkout line. I looked around the store and thought about what a person from, say, the 1930s USSR would think of it -- of all the different fruits, vegetables, and meats, of the shelves stocked with dozens of different breakfast cereals alone, all at prices that pretty much any American adult can afford. I don't think they could have believed it. The realization of how profoundly I've been blessed was driven home in that moment, and I actually started crying right there in the checkout line (my Mom gave me a funny look...).

I think I'll try to remember that moment next time I'm annoyed that the store doesn't have a great selection of jalapeno peppers...


I remember when Eastern European families were finally able to attend school in the U.S.--escorting one such family down the aisles of a typical American supermarket. Seeing it all as it must have looked to them brought it home...the abundance we live in.

I think similar thoughts every time I take a hot shower. What a luxury!


Are we sure it is God's grace or blessing that we have all of this? Or is it our own selfish behavior? The fact is, we who like jalapeno peppers in Boston are bidding up the price for the services of farmers and truck drivers who might otherwise sell their farming and driving services to people who need basic food. Is it enough to be profoundly grateful that we are perched on the pinnacle of material well-being, or are we supposed to modify our behavior, in order that others might have a better chance of obtaining some of that "blessing"?

The comments to this entry are closed.