I have served well. Never mind the worn edges on my shelves, or their dull finish. In spite of occasional mention of renovation, it just never happened. It seems my contents have always been the focal point, rather than my innards. Consequently, a few of my boards are sagging from the weight I have borne.
It wasn’t always this way. At the beginning, when the Man and Woman came, I was fresh, bright, and new. They came, excitedly, with brown paper bags. Together, they removed from them one item after another, placing them at various levels of my space.
The woman was very meticulous, insisting on order and arrangement. The flour, sugar, baking powder, and corn meal needed to be close together; the spices were placed in another section. Above them were canned vegetables, fruits, and soups. All boxes were grouped together. This became a point of contention through the years—keeping all things in their assigned places.
Another factor was obvious as, week-by-week, they brought in the big grocery sacks, replacing foods that had been consumed: The man seemed cross at the rising cost of the items, never in a great mood as he helped put them away. The woman, on the other hand, always said something about being thankful for God’s provisions. There were no arguments, only unbending observations.
Before long, a change took place. Added to the usual stock on my shelves were cans of formula, powdered cereal, and many little glass jars of baby food. Soon after, there were boxes of Cheerios, graham crackers, and cookies. This cycle was repeated at least three times through the years.
Little People began to reach up into my lower spaces, often being shooed out and the door closed firmly behind them.
Soon, in my storage, appeared boxes of mac’ and cheese, pop tarts, many more boxes of cereal, and several other snack items. My appearance was changing quickly.
Of course, numerous foods bypassed my space, going instead to the refrigerator or freezer. Into the fridge went ground beef every week, but I proudly held onto the Hamburger Helper boxes. The mustard and ketchup stayed on my shelf until they were opened, and then disappeared behind the stately white appliance door.
Later, the Little People seemed almost as big as the Man and Woman. At this point, the large sacks had to be brought more often. The increasing pace at which my inner supplies left their spots started a frantic effort to keep the shelves filled. The man was a bit grumpier as he helped carry in new bags, but the Woman remained calm, thankful for God’s provisions.
Often the Middle-Sized people helped to put items away too, some of which never reached any storage at all. An unbelievable number of things—called frozen pizzas—went directly to the freezer, along with cartons of ice cream.
Somewhere in the passing of time, the paper sacks disappeared. In their place were filmy plastic bags, which made no crackling or rustling sound, only a pile of plastic left over at the end.
Soon those who had grown into Big People devoured my ever-diminishing supply. They even carried some of it off in boxes whenever they would leave. Often they complained when they looked for something that had obviously already been eaten.
Before long, there was only the Man and Woman again. It was very quiet. The activity at my door was considerably less, but still, there were weekly bags. In them were new foods, high in fiber, low in salt and calories. Definitely, there were less snack foods, but more vegetables in cans.
Finally, there was only the Woman. She brought in the groceries alone. There were small cans of fruits, boxes of individual microwave dishes, and a steady supply of crackers.
She walked more slowly, but seemed at peace. Each time she placed a new supply on my shelves, she paused a couple of extra minutes. She knew.
It was God’s provision that I held. I have served well.
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