two pounds of cherries


I went to the store yesterday.  It’s a kind of hip, organic vegan place about two miles from my house.  I’m not hip, or vegan, but am doing my best to feed my family locally grown, pesticide free produce.  Comes with living in Sonoma County, I suppose.  We do have some of the best food in the world.

cherries-350x312Without much thought, I grabbed a 2 pound pre-weighed bag of cherries and proceeded to the register.  Based on my experience, these are goooood cherries.  Big, fat, and satisfying.   I like em.

“That will be $15.77”

Stunned, I silently hand over my ATM card.

Three children.

That’s my first thought.  Three children.

I know the numbers.  $15 provides clean water for three children for 10 years (or more), and I just opted for a bag of cherries instead.  Even more than just knowing the numbers, I actually have an avenue to take $15 and turn it into water.  But the guy behind the counter asked for it, and with my actions, I said it was okay with me to pay $15 for two pounds of cherries.  I didn’t risk embarrassment and put them back to  go down the street where they are $3.99.  I didn’t say, “never mind”, I didn’t do anything other than support it.

My actions said “this is perfectly okay”, and my heart said, “three children”.

Smiling children from a health clinic

In one week from today I will be face to face with those children.  I think that’s why it’s hitting me hardest right now, and I am once again calculating every single purchase in terms of water.  It’s easy to say “okay” when you never see their faces, or even don’t know what to do.  But to look into the eyes of a child who has never tasted clean water, to have a solution, and know I chose cherries instead?

It is a delicate balance to keep from going to extremes.  Only God can keep me from going straight off the deep end, being of no use to anyone.   So we talked it out this morning.  I’m not going to beat myself up anymore over the two pounds of cherries, but I’m not going to be so thoughtless either.

Love, Valerie


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