My mind zig zagged up to the present as I looked at her placidly sitting behind a well worn plastic folding table strewn with brightly colored plastic cups, mega sized bottles of root beer, and a frosty tub of ice cream. Her sign summed up her mission: "Root Beer Floats. $1. For breast cancer research." As my mind careened around I wondered if she even had the dimmest notion of what she was REALLY accomplishing. I wondered if she had ever heard of the devastating effects of sugar on the human body in general but especially on cancer. Or even more basic if she knew that sugar, food coloring, and a host of other nasties were the components in the frothy brown jug and the frozen block that were impostering as treats on her table.
I wondered what an immense difference it could have made to take the same well used plastic table, arrange a decadent display of leafy greens like crunchy romaine and frilly kale, robust roots like carrots and beets, and mouthwatering fruits like sweet apples and juicy kiwi and then serve delicious samples of freshly made juices and smoothies from those tried and true cancer warriors. And when people's taste buds got tickled with the legitimate treats she could have handed them a card containing recipes on how to make them and outlining the vibrant cancer fighting properties hidden in those very common treasures of the earth.
The story could have been different. The story should have been different.
Later as I left the store I was still pondering the irony of it and feeling powerless and frustrated about the sincere misguidedness of so many people.
But then it began to dawn on me. I wasn't powerless! Every bunch of curly kale, juicy cucumber, and sweet tomato that we harvest IS making a difference. It left me with an even greater longing to cooperate with our Creator in tangible, intelligent methods to make the very ordinary brown clay soil of our farm produce an abundant harvest. To learn better methods of enticing people to choose to purchase and eat our produce. To learn and to implement better ways of meeting the real needs of our customers. To make our farm a place where at the end of the day our team members have a sense of satisfaction from their work that overrides their tired feet, torn blue jeans, achy back, and calloused hands.
That, I decided could be our part in this human fight against a host of cancers and other diseases that are threatening people's very existence. And not only will it provide a breadth and depth of legitimate flavors and textures for many people's palates - including mine, it can be a shelter for change and refreshment in a world of odds and challenges.