I was in Meijer grocery store (which is always a bit overwhelming for me).  I was looking for cakes for Steve’s birthday, and a hand grabbed mine.  It was a little boy (7 or 8 years old) asking if I could help his mom.  I said, “yes;” so, I left my cart and went to the next aisle.  His mom was sitting on the floor. . .trying not to cry.  The little boy said very gently to me, “She has cancer, this is a cloudy day.”  Then he went and sat next to her.  Overriding calling 911 or running like a mad woman down the aisles to get help, I sat down with them.  She looked up at me and said, “I can’t finish shopping.”  I asked her if she needed an ambulance and she said, “No. The pain had just taken over.”  I said, “okay.”

Meanwhile, a store manager had come over quietly (so thankful for that).  From there a small gathering of people contacted her family, paid for her groceries, and bought a couple of toys for her kids. Meanwhile, the three of us sat in our little circle.  No words just sitting together with reassuring silence that we would get through this moment.

Her mother arrived first and so beautifully knelt down next to her daughter and said, “I love you.”  Then she hugged her grandson with the biggest grandma hug you have ever seen.  The little boy turned to me and said, “Thank you. I knew that you would help.”

That day, I learned so much about trust, courage and love.  I had been filled with angst that day about silly things.  This incident helped me turn to what is important.  I was inspired by it all:  The vision of the mother with her son—so loving—even in extreme pain.  Her mother’s first words, “I love you.”  I remember all the people who just helped.  The older couple who guarded the aisle and kindly told people, ”We have a delicate situation.  Do you think you could come down this aisle later?”  The people who paid for her groceries.  The man who went and bought toys for the boy and told him what a great job he did helping his mom.  The store manager brought a motorized cart to help her move to her car, and two men helped her to the cart.  I remember also the woman’s vulnerability and courage to let us all help her. And I shall always remember the little boy—who believed that people would help, and they did.

Jesus said, “I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”  (John 14:27)

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


  1. Donna Sawyer

    Karen thank you for sharing this amazing,heartfelt story. I am alway so busy but I never want to be too busy where I can’t see the needs that are around me. “Jesus, open my eyes to the needs that are around me everyday and to respond in a way that brings glory to you”. Amen!

  2. Ann

    I’m sitting here crying. The vulnerability of each person in this story touched me. I pray I will step up if the opportunity ever presents itself.

  3. Krista Mason

    This is beautiful and poignant.

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