Notes from Jan

Parking Lot Pulpit

December 15, 2016

‘Twas a bone chilling kind of December day, wind whipping off the water.   The boy, probably in his early teens, dressed for blizzard conditions in puffy jacket, thick gloves and ski-hat, pushed a long line of grocery carts towards me. He worked as a bagger/cart boy at Gloucester Crossing’s Market Basket. While I wrestled my cart against the wind, inching towards my car, the young cart rescuer headed in the opposite direction.

Suddenly, I heard him shout, “May I help you?  I’ll be happy to take your cart and help you get the groceries into your car.”

First of all, he said, “May I help you?”

Then, he said,he’d be happy to help.

I needed some good news.

‘Thanks.  That’d be great.”

He made quick work, lifting heavy bags from the cart into my car.

While he worked, I fumbled in my purse for a tip.

When offered, he said, “We’re not allowed to take tips. My job is to collect the carts in the parking lot and look for customers to help.  Thank you for your generosity but I  like doing this, being kind.”

Did he just say, “generosity”  and “kind”?

He did.

Kindness in exchange for nothing.

Who’d have thought to put a pulpit in a parking lot, proclaiming,”Good news!”

And for one discouraged widow on a blustery afternoon, the God who loves to show up,  redeemed more than a cart, lifted more than groceries through one kind kid.











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  • Reply Shirley M Dubeau December 15, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing this story, Jan.

    Don’t you just love the word “kind”?

    I love to say it because when I do it’s usually in response to a blessing bestowed upon me by God through His, oftentimes, unaware “messengers.”

    Happy Christmas, sweet sister!
    Shirley Dubeau

  • Reply Karen Gold December 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Love this Market Basket story, Jan. We have a son who works for them, and he has had the most wonderful encounters with customers….veterans, the elderly……..thank you for sharing this KIND story! Much love to you, dear Jan!

  • Reply Elizabeth Payne December 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    A picture of every day Grace. A sharp contrast to what we hear in the news today, stories that discourage our soul for the future. Instead, through those willing to do acts of kindness, acts of love every day, at a young age, there is a ray of hope. Hope we desperately need.

  • Reply Faith Wright December 15, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Jan, This is one of your loveliest of shares…
    Advent blessings,

  • Reply Niffy December 15, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you for my smile this morning! Kindness and generousity are definetly not normally found at the grocery stores especially this time of year. Glad it was shown to you!

  • Reply David Smith December 15, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Pow! Another one, outta tha park!

  • Reply Dale Lefever December 15, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks Jan,

    When love comes down things always get better. His parents must have been Wheaton or Gordon grads! 🙂

    Blessings and thanks for your continuing ministry to those of us who have the thoughts, but not the words to express them.


  • Reply Jim Trent December 15, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Good news does come in the most unexpected places. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Randall K Mathews December 15, 2016 at 4:37 pm


    Your encounter with the young man at the grocery store renewed my confidence in the human race. What a heart warming story, especially at this time of the year. There is so much negative news that spreads like wild fire. It is so encouraging to hear some positive news for a change. I am sure that the young man’s assistance with your groceries and his insistence on doing it gratis was a beautiful example of God’s grace and provision for a weary shopper!
    See you on Sunday

    Randy for the Mathews

  • Reply Ruth S. Wacome December 15, 2016 at 6:38 pm


  • Reply Marty Lefever December 15, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    I’m crying as I read this out loud to Carol Cole as we drive home from our annual shopping trip, lugging our bags, and none filled with groceries. And there was no pulpit in our parking lot as we searched for our car…amazing how you can push a button on your key fob and the lights on your car begin to flash!Thank you, Jesus! Honestly, dear Jan, your words were such a gift to us this day …. thanks for providing a pulpit in our car today as we drive home . We both send our love and big hugs

  • Reply Dede Petre December 15, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    That is so beautiful – the true spirit of Christ in a parking lot employee. Thank you for sharing that, I need to go do the same at the Center!

  • Reply Nancy Mering December 16, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Surely an Episcopalian.. . with such a natural Passing of the Peace. Look how may other folks–including me–feel blessed and encouraged by what he did for you. . .

  • Reply wendy lane December 17, 2016 at 3:32 am

    Beautiful! <3

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