Sunday, April 10, 2011

More Than Jelly Beans

I slammed the car door, hopscotched through the spring slush in the parking lot, and dashed into the store. Scanning like a hawk, I found them. Jelly beans! How could I have forgotten them? Imagine Easter without jelly beans.
At the checkout counter I realized my calculated rush was a waste. In front of me stood a woman holding not one, but two heavy baskets full of Easter goodies. I counted three plastic baskets with a small chocolate bunny for each one, jelly beans and peeps, little marshmallow eggs, plus that insidious cellophane grass. Then I noticed her.
She was young, very young, not much older than my daughter in college. Her maroon wool coat pulled tightly across her back. It needed cleaning and a little mending.
As she set each item carefully on the counter and opened a worn black leather wallet, I worried she lacked enough to pay for all this. I hoped I had extra cash.
"Twenty-nine forty-one," announced the clerk in a flat, loud voice.
The young mom counted out the bills one at a time. "Easter is so expensive," she mumbled softly. Then she grabbed her heavy bags and left.
"Next!" Automatically I moved forward and placed my jelly beans on the counter, but my thoughts followed the young mom out the door. I wanted to run after her, hug her, and say, 'Yes, Easter IS expensive! It cost God everything He had!'
But my feet were cemented in place. I came home with jelly beans and a heavy heart.

No comments: