It’s Monday. As usual, I headed to the grocery store after dropping the kids off at school. While checking out, however, I made a mess. A huge mess. I’m not sure what happened, but just as I tried to put a jar of spaghetti sauce on the counter, I dropped it.
Time slowed. The jar bounced off the conveyor belt and tumbled three times. I watched, frozen, because I knew I couldn’t catch it. The lid hit the ground first with a clang then the glass shattered. Red goo and glass danced in the air then spattered the ground, my feet, and the nearby display stand.
I wanted to cry. I glanced behind me, so thankful no one was waiting. My eyes met the cashier’s. I waited for some sort of irritation. “I’m so sorry,” I said.
“Are you all right, honey?” she asked.
“Yes, I just made such a huge mess. I’m so sorry.” I blubbered on, promising the pay for the mess, and looking around for something to use to clean, but the only thing in my purse that might even start to pick up a mound of sauce was a Target receipt.
“Don’t you worry about that one bit, honey,” she told me. “You just let us handle it. I don’t want you cutting yourself.”
We went back and forth. I kept trying to figure out how to clean up her mess. She insisted that I couldn’t and reassured me that it was all right. “At least it smells nice,” she said. She chatted on about various other spills they had experienced recently. Instead of leaving her presence in tears of shame, I walked out with a grateful heart and no glass cuts on my hands.
My mind went back to the last time Rachel had shattered a glass jar in the kitchen. She tries so hard to be big and to figure out the way the world works, but she makes mistakes all the time. Worse, she can’t communicate what she was thinking and why. After an accident she often hides in a closet.
I wonder if I handle her mistakes the same way this lady at Kroger handled mine…?
Furthermore, I can’t help but reflect on the grace the Kroger checker showed me and think about Jesus. No one is perfect. All of us have some sort of spaghetti sauce mess on our feet, yet through Jesus’ death He says something similar to what that lady said to me: “No, honey, don’t you worry about this. I got this.”
May your messes be full of grace, my friends!