Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Community Begins at the Grocery

So, it's Tuesday, a full day with a slow start. One of my favorite kinds.

Today, I get to practice hospitality among acquaintances and friends I haven't met yet. I'm bound to do it imperfectly, but as Calvin's violin teacher told him yesterday, "I expect you to make mistakes, because if you're not making any mistakes, you're not trying." 

Those are words to live by.

On that note, my latest column is up today in our local paper. It might give you a different perspective on my life and where I live, but I imagine you'll also see yourself in my words, and certainly someone you know who has taught you a thing or two about how to be a friend.

One of those people in my life happens to be the produce guy at the grocery store. I run in for a head of romaine and two limes and leave feeling like I've been seen. He's teaching me how to be better at community, and I'm taking notes.

Happy Tuesday, friends.
Hope today reaffirms your wildest hopes.


Aside from being fed, housed, and generally cared for, each of us holds the desire to simply be known. The heart longs to be valued, and that’s not likely to happen among strangers.

As a transplant from the tiny Ohio town that raised me, I find Elkhart County particularly gifted in the art of knowing. I’m embarrassed to admit that at one time, moving to the “big city” of Goshen intimidated me. A few years later, I rarely run an errand or grab a bite to eat without running into a (new) friend. Bit by bit, it’s changing me.

Just last week, I was perusing the granola bars in my favorite grocery store when the man working in produce asked me if I needed anything, his eyes lighting up like he really meant it. He was there to make my day easier.

He asked if I’d written my next column yet, and offered a suggestion. I made notes in mental shorthand.

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  2. I'm so loving the quote - from the music/violin teacher! May I borrow??

  3. I just had this "seen" experience when my dentist asked, "how do you feel about that?" in regards to a certain treatment plan. In a house full of littles, and boys no less, I almost never get asked how I feel! He nearly brought me to tears just by caring about doing his job well. Community, its a good thing.

  4. I love this article! I understand exactly what your saying. My bright spot is chatting with the woman that hands out free samples at the grocery store during the weekends. Now that we're semiretired we've thought about moving. In the past it was a given we would but now because of just one example of the lady that hands out samples we're inclined to ask why would we leave? It might be warmer in other areas but this place warms the heart. By the way it's in Ohio! Hahaha Go CAVS!!!!

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