I Missed Out

A Publix on Monument Road in Jacksonville, Florida

By Bob Comeans

I was standing right there, it was happening in front of me, and I missed out.

She didn’t have much. Probably just enough to get thru the next couple of days. The basics, for her, maybe a husband, and a kid or two. Half a cart full at the most.

It rang up to about thirty five bucks and change. No big deal. She spent a solid five-six minutes trying to write the check, get out her ID, and hand the whole package over to the cashier. She seemed rushed, unorganized, and just kind of frustrated about her day. Who knows, maybe her whole life.

Of course, there was something wrong with something. Check was wrong, ID was wrong, something wasn’t right.  The cashier couldn’t accept her check. The customer looked like this was just another part of her not so great day. Just another disappointment.

Right about then I started to pay a little more attention. Payment not being accepted, woman looks a little unhappy. Maybe it’s not her fault. It’s only thirty five bucks or so for her groceries. No cigarettes, alcohol, sodas. Just essentials. Stuff you really need to get a few people fed for a couple days.

I have money on me. Should I, or shouldn’t I, help her out. That split second of opportuinity was gone that quick. The woman said she’d be back, left her groceries, and walked out of the store.

I could have helped her. Not that big a deal. I just wasn’t ready or expecting it. I was in my own little world and didn’t come back soon enough.

I looked for her in the parking lot after I had checked out. I couldn’t find her. I wanted to help her, but she was gone.

My wife paid for the car behind her this morning at a restaurant drive thru. She excitedly told me about it and how it made her feel to help a stranger with a small act of generosity. I was happy for her.

Random. Unexpected. Kindness.

I missed out.


6 thoughts on “I Missed Out

  1. jaggh53163

    The best part is the lesson you learned and how, in the future, you will move faster. I have my own lesson but it involved sharing a word from God and I blew it. But my testimony about that incident, I hope, has allowed more people to follow His lead and Just Do It !!!

    1. bobcomeans Post author

      I’d like to hear that story sometime. I think I moved slow because I was tired from The Resurrection Run! Bob

  2. optimisticgladness

    *sigh* This post tells the world that you have a big heart. Next time, right? I struggle with helping someone by giving to them and hurting or enabling them by giving. I want to help, but I don’t want to make their problems worse…..I haven’t figured that out yet.

    1. bobcomeans Post author

      Very good point you make. I haven’t quite figured it out either. I do try to ask myself if what I’m about to give, whether money, time, or whatever, will I really miss it? Will I jeopardize my family in any way by this action? Will I be okay without it? Just kind of my quick checklist. Which sometimes obviously isn’t quick enough. Thanks for your thoughts! Bob

  3. bronxboy55

    The key is that you wanted to help, and wish you had. That’s what will make you ready to respond more quickly the next time. Most people, I’m afraid, would have just been annoyed with her.

    1. bobcomeans Post author

      I tend to agree with you that most people would have looked at her differently. Spontaneous caring is often held back by annoying suspicion. Thanks for your thoughts. Bob


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