Shopping carts and brushfires

“treasures on earth…

treasures in heaven”

Matthew 6:19,20



This weekend is my daughter’s 18th birthday party.  She and her best friend ~ whose birthday was a mere 5 days before my daughter’s ~ are hosting a get-together at my folks’ house, which is bigger than ours and more set up for entertaining.  The girls have been working hard, planning and shopping and prepping and more planning…

The other night, I met my daughter and her friend and her friend’s mother at Costco to do the shopping.  We had come from three different directions, and I arrived first, so I just sat in my car for a few minutes until they all arrived.  And while I waited, I people-watched. 

One of the shoppers I saw was a woman, probably a little shorter than average, who was pushing a cart that had nothing but beer in it.  So it was heavy.  And the parking lot was at a bit of an incline, so she was working a little bit to get the cart to her car… hunched down a little, arms on the far left and far right of the handles…

Even though it was a cart full of beer, I wasn’t judging.  I figured she was prepping for a party, too.  And I thought about times we’ve gone to the grocery store to buy prizes for the high schoolers in the Bible study my husband teaches.  Which means a lot of candy.  So I sure wouldn’t want to be judged for what I’m buying. 

But still, it was an unusual load for a shopping cart.  And it made me think about what you choose to put in a cart.  There are people in the world who don’t even have clean water to drink, and in this country, we’re able to just fill up our carts. 

Very, very blessed…

I thought about homeless people I’ve seen in my life, whose entire collection of worldly goods fit in a shopping cart. 

And I thought about an experience I had about twenty years ago.  My hubby and I were living in an apartment at the time, this was B.C.  (before children).  That year the annual Southern California wildfires were fairly close to our home.  Not close enough that we were ever in any danger (although we didn’t know that at the time) but close enough that we could see the fire itself (as opposed to most years, when we just get to enjoy the acrid smell of smoke in the air for a few days.)

I didn’t know if we’d be told to evacuate that evening, so just be sure, I started packing.  Not a lot, cuz I knew there’d still be time, if in fact we were told to evacuate.  And it was too soon to panic.  So I stacked some clothes on the bed that I could throw in a suitcase, and I grabbed a laundry basket and put a few valuables in it. 

That was a weird thought process.  What to put in the basket?  When I think back now, I shake my head.  I don’t think it was necessarily things I loved, it was things that were valuable.  But it certainly wasn’t what I would pack now. 

What is important?  To you, to me, to a homeless woman?  The woman at Costco spent a fair bit of money on beer, which means she had money to spare.  She wasn’t buying clean water or bread or milk or eggs.  She already had those things. 

Makes one pay a little attention, to what’s important.  What I have, and what I’d still like to have.  And what I can’t live without.  And I’m still pondering all that…

Very, very blessed…


~ “Do not lay up for yourselves

treasures on earth…

but lay up for yourselves

treasures in heaven…

For where your treasure is,

there your heart will be also.” ~

Matthew 6:19,20,21


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