Tag Archives: grocery depot

The Benefits of Looking Religious


I was entering the learning center when the old man stopped me.

“Do I know you from the store?” he asked.

I knew he meant Grocery Depot, the Mennonite-owned store in town that mostly employs other Mennonites.

“I don’t work there anymore, but I used to,” I said. “I have friends that work there.”

“But do you guys pray?” he asked me.

“Yes,” I said.

“My son Jeremiah lives in Arazona, and he just tried to commit suicide,” said the man. “Can you pray for him?”

Suicide. The horrible, horible thing that stole my cousin Lenny from my own family. “Yes, I’ll pray,” I promised. “Would you like me to pray for you right now?”

“Yes,” said the man.

So in the crowded hall at LBCC I prayed for this man, and his son Jeremiah, pleading with God to spare Jeremiah’s life, and help him find the help he needed to cure his depression.

When I was done, the man was crying.

“Thank you,” he said.

And then we went our separate ways.

Sometimes I get frustrated by the fact that I look very religious. I don’t like being defined by the fact that I am a Mennonite instead of the fact that I am a Christian.

But that day, since I looked religious, God used me to bless this man.

Cold Days and Dream Jobs


The weeks of sunshine deceived me. “I have to wear flip-flops,” I told myself. Also, “it doesn’t matter so much if I forget to bring a tea bag. I don’t NEED to drink tea.”

Yesterday I went on a field trip with BMS to the wildlife safari. It was a lovely trip, only the flip-flops combined with the lack of tea left me chilled to the bone.

I went into the warm restaurant to splurge on a cup of tea. There was a group of college-age guys in there who wore dirty baggy clothing and dreadlocks. I couldn’t figure out what box to put them into. They looked like gangster hippies. But why would gangsters become hippie, and then go hang out at the local wildlife safari?

That had nothing to do with the story I’m telling, I just thought it was interesting.

Today I ran shivering into the coffee shop, still wearing flip-flops, with no tea in my backpack, but too cheep to spend money on tea again. So I sat down and ate my lunch with some of my friends who were in there.

Then I looked out the window and couldn’t believe my eyes. There were two of my friends from Grocery Depot.

I had once very enthusiastically tried to convince these ladies to go to college, only to be told that their church didn’t usually allow people to go to college. So needless to say, I was very surprised to see them on campus.

“Hey guys!” I said, running out and giving them a hug. “What are you doing here?”

“I just got my GED,” said one of them. “I’m going to do the bookwork for Grocery Depot, and so I want to take some accounting classes.”

“I’m here for moral support,” said the other. “We’re trying to find McKenzie Hall…”

“Oh, I can show you where that is!” I said. I took them down to McKenzie Hall, and helped them find the offices they were looking for. They wanted to talk to the academic advisers for accounting, but both advisers were out of their offices right then.

I showed them how the paper on the door shows when they’ll be back, and how to go online and find the advisers’ email addresses and set up a meeting, etc.

Then we parted ways and I went back to my friends in the coffee shop.

Have you ever read “The Catcher in the Rye?” If so, what do you think of it? I’m reading it right now, and while I’m not sure I can say I recommend it, it is very interesting.

In it the main character, Holden, is talking to his sister Phoebe about why he is failing school. He says it just doesn’t interest him.

“Doesn’t anything interest you?” she asks him.

He thinks about this for a while. Then he says, “You know that poem that goes, ‘if a body catch a body, coming through the rye?”

Phoebe tells him that the poem actually says, “if  body meet a body, coming through the rye.”

Holden says that he always thought it said “catch.” He used to imagine a field of rye where children would play, but there was a cliff on one end, and he was the only adult around. His job would be to catch the children if they were running too fast, and not looking where they were going, and headed for the cliff.

So even though he seemed to not be interested in anything, he would like to be a catcher in the rye.

Like Holden, I sometimes do random things and think, “if this were a job, I would like to have it for a very long time.”

Today, that’s what I thought when I showed my old friends where to go and what to do around campus.

I would like to find people that haven’t the first clue how to navigate college, and just answer all their questions, and show them where to go, and who to talk to. I wish that could be my job.

A random side note: Trying to find an image for this post, I googled “cold days and dream jobs” and came up with pictures of swimsuit models. Somehow I found that extremely humerus.