Give them a Break
Tuesday July 10th 2018, 10:45 pm
Filed under: Life

I got my new ear molds for my hearing aids, but driving out towards the main road afterwards, realized I’d forgotten to pick up new batteries there and I was on my last one.

I never go down to the last one. Usually.

There was no place between there and the freeway to turn around so I kept going, thinking, okay, then, this is a Costco day. Richard had something he’d wanted me to pick up anyway and those batteries are really cheap there.

While I was in Costco my left aid did the loud beep they do to tell me the battery is on its last legs. Sometimes you get one beep, sometimes you get several at several-minute intervals, the record is five over a half hour and then there’s a little melodramatic “I’m dying!” musical octave in your ear and the thing turns itself off.

I got the batteries. The second beep. A third at a red light. The rest of the groceries were way back in the trunk but I had that one package right there and I reached for the thing and quickly wrestled one of the six eight-packs out of there and grabbed a battery and tried to put it in the aid before the light turned.


It was a 13. I use size 312. I’d gotten the wrong ones and I’d already opened the thing. Dang. Well, the cold things needed to be put away.

There were tree service guys almost blocking my driveway, and they chuckled as I took a minute to get out of my car. (Not. Finding. A loose good one in there.) They were done  and they were enjoying the break.

I said to them, You don’t know anyone who has any use for hearing aid batteries, do you?

The one guy tried to tell me Costco would still take them back.

It was my mistake and I did open it, so no, I’m not comfortable doing that.

Well, he considered: his watch does take that size. He turned to the other guy, who had no interest in them, and laughed that his watch would last forever now!

I don’t like to drive without my ears. I ended up searching an old purse and coming up with two old batteries. One worked. It was such a relief.

So, having no choice, I drove back to Costco.

“You’re back!”

I grabbed a 12-pack of Balanced Breaks. They’re little packages that have bite size squares of cheddar on one side and a mix of toasted cashews and just sweetened enough cranberries mixed together on the other side; a little fruit, a little protein, 180 calories each.

Because driving out of the parking lot that first time I’d passed a woman and two kids and she was holding up a sign and I had done nothing. With families pleading for help finding their children torn from their arms at the border and put in cages who knows where, ignoring someone in need is just a little too raw right now.

But I hadn’t planned for that and my groceries were in the trunk and there was a long line of cars behind me: fishing for something that would work for someone without refrigeration that I didn’t think I had anyway… I couldn’t make it work.

It bugged me all the way home with King Benjamin’s words in my ears. Mosiah 4:12-30:


12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.

13 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.

14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

22 And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.

23 I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.

24 And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.


I’ve read those words many many times.

And I have plenty.

What could I get that would work for them… Wondering was immediately met with answering. I went back to that store, passing that small group on my way into the parking lot–still there–glad now that I’d goofed on that battery size. I grabbed the food first, then the 312s, and put them beside me on the front seat of the car. I figured if they left before I could reach them again, well, hey, it’s something we like, no problem. (Photo of the few we had left at home.)

I rolled the passenger window down early in anticipation.

This time, the guy in front of me stopped and handed the woman some money. Earlier, car after car had just kept on going as if they weren’t there. Including, of course, me.

She looked at me hopefully: I was looking at them. I handed her that double-set of a box, and like every mother everywhere, she gave it first to the children to eat and they were clearly glad to have it.

Yeah. Yeah. Wow. And to think how close I came to missing, half-knowingly missing just what that moment came to be.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40.

Thank you for all you do for everyone around you. You are a gift.

Comment by Pegi 07.11.18 @ 4:10 am

I agree with Pegi: you are a gift!

Maybe you needed the batteries to hear their plea and everybody got assistance through your mistake – which turns out was not one in the first place!

I’m smiling…

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 07.11.18 @ 6:59 am

And like every mother everywhere, you took care of those that depend on you first.

Comment by Afton 07.12.18 @ 4:53 am

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>