May 6, 2023 filed under Gratitude, Hope, Joy.

Grocery worker in produce aisle

My mother taught us to do good work because it expresses our own dignity and the value and worth of those we serve. And that we never know how ordinary things done well will be a gift to someone who’s hurting.

Last week, author and speaker Laura Roland discovered the power of a simple thing done with love, when she needed it most.

She writes:

A quick stop at the market today and I was in a mood. Friends with a sudden cancer diagnosis, family with hurt hearts & my own ish made for a Monday for sure.

I needed 1 lemon, 1 bunch of asparagus and lettuce.

Muttering under my breath about all the ways life is hard and unfair, I wrestled a cart and proceeded to the produce aisle.

I only needed three things and I just wanted to get in and get out.

But I stopped short when I got to the lettuce.

The gentleman whose job it was to stock the produce section had literally created a masterpiece — of color and textures and flavors that I’m sure were heavenly once the food was prepared. He was so gentle with the food, carefully placing the carrots just so, and then moved a few cabbages up and over to the right to make room for the smaller heads, as if giving them center stage.

It was an ordinary moment for sure. Just a guy on a Monday morning doing what he does. An ordinary woman, rushed and grumpy.

Guess what though? Sometimes it’s in the ordinary moments of life that true beauty & simple pleasures hit us hardest.

I watched him for several minutes. He was humming to himself, a little smile on his face.

And I almost wept for the beauty of it.

I don’t know why I do these things — well okay I do know but still — I walked over to him and had it been socially appropriate I would’ve hugged him so hard. But I used my words instead.

“Thank you for creating this beautiful display. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to see these ordinary everyday items displayed so beautifully. It’s kind of a work of art.”

He looked at me for a long moment and then broke into the shyest, most generous smile and said, ”I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you noticed. I do this everyday and to me it’s just my ordinary work but I do like to make it look nice for people. I want them to see the goodness & beauty here in this aisle.”

That my friends is the power of ordinary. I love that we can find beauty and a moment of connection and care for the other in a produce aisle on a stupid Monday morning when the world seems just so ugly.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

Read more from Laura on Instagram at Laura@this_womans_journey

12 Responses to “Love in the Produce Aisle”

  1. Carmel Fernandopulle

    Thanks Rose for that lovely experience shared. It made my day. It’s my birthday today, to love and share everything with a lot of love; even at times when we are rushed.

  2. Amy

    Laura, thank you for sharing this story.,but most importantly for generous words to the produce worker. Next time your in the store tell the manager. You would be surprised how important those comments are when they get reviewed. I always love to let employees know just how special they are.

  3. Susie Melkus

    The simplest and the most obscure things, that many people barely, if ever notice, are the most beautiful signs of the ‘fingerprint of God’ in this world. Thank You, Jesus!

    And thanks, Rose, for sharing this lovely testimony of the power of “simple beauty,” always seen in and through God’s eyes, when the lens clouded by grumpiness, bitterness, woundedness or self-pity is removed from our eyes.

    My prayer: Lord Jesus, give me ‘sacramental eyes.’ May we all have Sacramental eyes. ❤
    +++ JMJ

  4. Lourdes

    Beautiful story. It is about the little things and taking the time to appreciate everything around us.

  5. Tina

    Needed to see and read this this morning. It sirt of sums up my past week. Thank you Rose, and Laura! Just released a tear.

  6. Kathy

    What a wake up call this Sunday morning!! See God’s beauty in the siimple everyday things!!❤️🙏

  7. Regina

    Thanks so very much! Perfect way to start the day. Blessings in abundance! 🙏🕊🙏

  8. Lucy Edwards

    Thank you Rose, sharing these special moments means a lot. The Lord guides us in the right path and it is truly great as we encounter sad times in our lives such as illness, sadness, losing family members. However, I trust that lives change as we go on looking forward. I enjoy all your spiritual readings, look forward reading all.

    God Bless you

  9. Anne Gordon

    I love your story. Rose. It reminds me of Jesus’s parables. Our pastor uses stories in his sermons to help us understand the readings. What a wonderful way to learn
    Thank you Rose. Love & prayers.

  10. Tom Roberts

    In the movie CHARIOTS OF FIRE was the quote “You can praise the Lord by peeling a spud if you peel it to perfection.”

  11. Liz Tomaszeski

    Love this. Seeing the beautiful in the ordinary brings joy.

  12. Mary Anderson

    A kind and greatful heart produces so much beautiful fruit doesn’t it!
    Theres such abundant beauty in the simplicity of ordinary life!
    The song ” Go MAKE A DIFFERENCE ” came to mind as I read that!
    Thanks Rose!