A Squash Moment

Squash at Food City, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

I had intended to take my camera a couple of times before when I went grocery shopping, but it was only yesterday that I remembered. Camera in hand, I entered the store, pulled a cart from its long line of cousins, and walked directly to the produce department. There among the squash, I lingered.

Aren’t they beautiful. I looked this morning on a couple of search engines to discover how many varieties of squash there actually are, but I didn’t find the answer. There must be hundreds–or maybe thousands. I stood at the bin pictured here and considered the many different kinds in this one store alone. Some of the globes had names on them, while others were anonymous. I love that turban squash you can see there, so well named, for indeed it strongly resembles a turbaned head. I thought to buy one of those a few weeks ago, but it would have set me back more than $5.00 which seemed a bit pricey to me.

A friendly clerk who often checks out my purchases came up to me as I stood among the squashes. “Taking pictures?”

“Yep, I think these squash are so beautiful.”

“They are,” she agreed.

Then a boy–probably 12 or 13–sidled up and stood beside me.

“Taking pictures?”


“Are you a painter?”

“No, I don’t paint,” I said. “I only take pictures.” I raised my eyes from my bead on the vegetables and asked the boy, “Do you paint?”

With an embarrassed gesture, he wriggled a bit before answering, “Well, a little bit.” He paused then, and fingering one of the squashes said as though only now thinking of it, “They are pretty, aren’t they?”

Today I wish I had lingered a while longer among the squashes, wish I had drawn out the young man more, wish I could have seen his heart a bit clearer, wish I had probed more deeply about his paintings, about his artistic self, about his dreams and ambitions.

For as beautiful and precious are the squash, so much more important is the young man who stood beside me yesterday. For recall, he lives forever. Help me God to be acutely aware of those beside whom I walk every day, to engage in every opportunity for ministry, to touch any soul who stands beside me…even if it happens to be in a grocery store…as together we stand in admiration before the squash bin.


My other blog is here.

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About Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 78 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She has been married to Jerry for 60 years. They have 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)
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6 Responses to A Squash Moment

  1. Tena says:

    Awww…I like this post, Sis. Buxton. I would’ve wished the same things if I had been in your shoes. I, too, want to be aware and sensitive to people wherever I go. I think about that a lot. I usually ask God to help me not be in such a hurry while running my errands that I miss a hungry soul. Sometimes, I try to look in people’s eyes as I pass them by, hoping they will feel the pull of the Holy Ghost or see something they need in my eyes. Nothing has come of it, yet.
    I’ll keep praying and keep looking and keep being sensitive. Some day…
    Thank you for this post. It touched a place in my heart.

  2. catherine says:

    Sis Buxton, You told my heart.

  3. writeathome says:

    Lovely, colorful squash and a great thought to go along with it. I want to be sensitive to God too to be able to discern the opportunities He sends my way to minister to someone. It is something I pray about, but I think I need to pray more diligently about it.

  4. tommyjoe says:

    Mom says: Carol’s prayer is also a prayer of mine. I want to be sensitive to the Spirit and be moving with the Spirit when God sends opportunities to minister to someone.

    Tom says: I too would’ve probably noticed the squash, but also hope to be sensitive to others around me and minister when I can. He has given to us all the ministry of reconciliation, has He not? The good Lord help us all!

  5. helenl says:

    Hi Shirley,

    I want to let you know how much I enjoy this blog. It’s not that I don’t enjoy your other one, because I do. But I look here for something I don’t always find on the other one: an invitation to wrestle with what it means to be Christian in a secular world. On the the other blog, we joke around sometimes (which is a real and essential part of life,) but here we pause before God with the purpose of discerning His will. The two blogs are like the difference between going to church and being at home, which is all the difference in the world and no difference at all simultaneously, if you know what I mean. We are always with God and always seek to live for Him, but this blog just “feels” (bad word) a bit more like an encounter with the Holy. So, I’m not nagging, but I do hope you’ll update this one soon. I love the sanctuary here. Love, Helen

  6. Shirley says:

    You are too sweet, Helen, and I do hear you.

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