Somehow this year I forgot how busy the stores can be the week before Christmas...until I walked into Meijer to get some groceries for the cozy Christmas party I was having the Saturday before Christmas. Shoppers were everywhere. My blood pressure rose instantly.
All I wanted were a few ingredients and I could already see it was going to take me double the time it normally would. That in itself irritated me, as well as the secularism all around me. The atmosphere of rushing, spending, hurrying, and buying smothered me as I pushed my cart through the swarms of people. It was like a never-ending maze. I plastered a smile on my face as I said "excuse me" countless times with forced politeness.
Finally, I was making progress with a few items in my cart. I turned a corner at the end of the aisle and found myself behind the slowest cart yet. Seeing no way around it, silent grumbling began to form in my mind. Then my eyes took in the rest of the scene. A older gentleman was pulling the shopping cart behind him as he pushed his wife ahead of him in a wheelchair. Slowly. Calmly. Patiently.
Emotions swelled in my heart as the complaining thoughts disappeared. I felt guilt for the impatience I had shown while this man's patience so clearly surpassed all those around him. I was ashamed that I had joined in the hurried mentality of other shoppers while he slowly and gently guided his wife and their items throughout the store.
My to-do list seemed trivial as I watched this display of true love-- sacrificial, unconditional, and absolutely beautiful. Much like the love of the Son of God who came to us that first Christmas. Sacrificial, unconditional love that would hang on a cross to save sinners. Absolutely beautiful.