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Behind the Slowest Person in the Checkout Line

Garret Keizer was asked by his minister to visit an elderly parishioner, Pete, in a nursing home. Garret finds out that Pete loves bananas, so he starts bringing some on each week’s visit. Garrett said:

I was standing with my Chiquitas in line at the supermarket behind one of those people who seem to think they're at a bank instead of a store. She must have had three checkbooks. I shifted from one foot to the other, sighing, glancing at the clock. I wanted to catch Pete before supper. No doubt I was feeling the tiniest bit righteous because I was about the Lord's business on behalf of my old man, who needed his bananas and was looking forward to my company. And here was this loser buying an armful of trivial odds and ends and taking my precious time to screw around with her appallingly disorganized finances.

When I finally got through the line, I watched her walk to her vehicle feeling that same uncharitable impulse that makes us glance at the driver of a car we're passing just to “get a look at the jerk.” She got into the driver's seat of a van marked with the name of a local nursing home and filled to capacity with elderly men and women who had no doubt handed her their wish lists and checkbooks as soon as she'd cut the ignition.

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