- March 2014
- December 2013
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- March 2013
- September 2013
- From the Editor’s Desk
- Bloom Where You Are Planted and Where You Are Transplanted
- The Change Game
- Ten Tender Weeks: The Countdown
- The Chap Who Lives in a Flat
- Conspiracy Theory
- The Closers
- He Knows
- Surprising Steps with a Friendly Wind
- If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!
- Walking the Talk
- Message in a Bottle
- January 2013
In the Medical Field
In the Medical Field
By Brenda Shipman
Why had this simple task become so burdensome? It’s not like I had to plant it, grow it, harvest it, can it, kill it, or butcher it. I was not a hunter/gatherer, for Pete’s sake. All I had to do was walk through the nicely air-conditioned aisles of the grocery store, pick out the items I wanted and drop them in my shopping cart.
But I was tired . . . and hungry . . . and felt a bit like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress—trudging through the day with a heavy load.
I grabbed a cart in front of the store, sighed and headed for the entrance. A huge bin of watermelons sat just outside the door, so I stopped and began the mysterious process of picking out the perfect melon. While knocking on each melon (my mom’s surefire approach), a man walked over to me and said, “You wanna know the best way to pick out a watermelon?”
When I told him my own method, he said, “No, you look at the end opposite the stem, and if you push your thumb into it and it’s just a little bit soft, it’s ripe.” Then he looked at me and, in all seriousness, said, “I’m in the medical field.”
I stared at him, trying to connect watermelons with the medical field and come up with a response, but all I said was, “Well, thanks. That’s really helpful.” Okaaay….
A few minutes later, a lady eagerly asked, “I heard that guy giving you advice on watermelons. What did he say?” So I told her, and to validate his expertise, I threw in that he was in the medical field.
I moved on into the produce department and spotted cherries on sale. Now I was raised by a mother (yes, my watermelon-knocking mom) who had no qualms about “sampling” a grape or a cherry before she bought them. Who wants to pay $3 a pound for a bunch of sour grapes or cherries? So, in my small way of honoring my mother, I did the same thing. Popped a cherry right into my mouth without the slightest worry over salmonella, parasites or any other nasty creepy-crawly thing. It was sweet and juicy. I dropped a bag of them into my cart.
Next on my list—cantaloupe. Now with this particular melon, I am savvy enough to know that you do not thump or knock a cantaloupe to determine its ripeness. You smell it. I was taking my first whiff, when another lady pointed at me and yelled to the produce guy, “That lady stole a cherry!”
I stopped mid-sniff, dropped my jaw in mock indignation, and looked at the produce guy for support. He grinned, shook his head and kept on stacking the lemons. I turned to my accuser, “I can’t believe you tattled on me! I was just making sure they weren’t coated in pesticides. In fact, I may have saved your life by sampling those cherries!”
She snickered in good humor. “Thief.”
My accuser and I ended up traveling in opposite directions on every aisle of the store and it turned into a game. As we passed each other, we’d mumble a snide comment:
“I’ll never forgive you for ratting on me.”
“I still can’t believe you stole that cherry.”
“Haven’t YOU ever sampled fruit before?”
“Thought you’d get away with it, didn’t you?”
Finally, on the last aisle, we stopped and just had ourselves a good giggle. She asked me what my name was; I asked for hers. For one brief second, I think we both thought, “You know, given the chance, we just might become good friends.”
As I pushed my cart to the checkout, it occurred to me that I was smiling all over inside. I may have even been humming some happy little tune.
Proverbs 17:22 (NASB) says, “A joyful heart is good medicine.” I entered that grocery story with a heavy heart, expecting to simply get my stuff and get out. But God gave me more than groceries. He gave me joy . . . among the watermelons, cantaloupes and a stolen cherry. I do believe He is an expert at picking the perfect quirky medicinal moments of joy to lighten our days.
In fact, I think He is absolutely in the medical field.