When Diana Register made a trip to the grocery store during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, an “old marine” stopped to ask her for some cooking advice. But Diana quickly realized this chat was about way more than cooking. And the heartwarming short story is a great reminder for us all!
In 2020, fear over the novel coronavirus pandemic gripped the nation and upended daily life. Social distancing is a necessary precaution. But after a trip to the grocery store led to a heartwarming encounter, mom and inspirational author Diana Register reminds us not to lose our humanity in all the panic.
Diana and her daughter, Kaitlyn, needed some groceries for dinner so they headed to the store. And while shopping, an elderly man named Mark stopped them on one of the aisles.
Trip To The Grocery Store Leads To Divine Intervention
Mark explained how he lives by himself and didn’t really know how to cook. So, he was asking Diana whether he should use butter or mayonnaise on the outside of the bread when making a grilled cheese sandwich.
The question about the grilled cheese sandwich was a conversation starter. Diana and her daughter stayed there chatting with Mark — something many people wouldn’t do in this fear-driven climate.
But Diana and her daughter realized there was something bigger going on during this trip to the grocery store.
Diana asked if Mark might need toilet paper since so many stores were out. But he explained how he was an “old marine” and therefore “always prepared.”
That led to an even deeper discussion between these strangers.
“I told him my dad was in Korea,” Diana says. “He said he was, too. And for forty-five minutes, Kaitlyn and I ￼were absolutely honored to listen to his stories of war and tales from overseas.”
During this time, Diana learned the “old marine” never cooked because he usually just went out to eat. Most likely, this was as much a social activity as it was to fulfill his hunger.
But with the coronavirus shutting down his favorite restaurant, along with so many others, Mark had no choice but to try and fix his own meals.
Powerful Reminder To Be Good To Each Other
This unexpected conversation during her trip to the grocery store brought Diana to a harsh realization.
“At some point, it dawned on me.” Diana says. “He didn't stop us because he didn't know how to make a grilled cheese. He stopped us because he is lonely.”
She went on to explain, “He had enough TP, but on this day, he didn't have enough love.”
Diana Register and her daughter were kind enough to take the time to stop and talk with Mark. But she knew so many others wouldn’t.
The pandemic has many too afraid to have any kind of interaction like this. But even under normal circumstances, most of us are too busy and caught up in our own lives to stop and take notice of a lonely “old marine”. And there are so many people just like Mark, alone and desperate for some kind of connection.
And that’s why the reminder Diana shares after her trip to the grocery store is so important for all of us to hear.
“So, if you want my totally unsolicited opinion, wash your hands, be cautious, get what you need, and take care of your families, but by God, please, please be good to each other,” she writes.
Be smart and be careful. But don’t let fear rob you of the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others.
Featured Image: Facebook/Diana Register