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  • Becky Proctor

14 Cans of Creamed Corn

Many years ago, I was moving from one apartment to another and my mom was helping.


While I packed dishes, Mom was on her hands and knees in front of a kitchen cabinet, pulling out canned vegetables, sorting them, and packing them in boxes.


“Mercy, goodness!” she exclaimed.


I looked to see what she’d found.


“Fourteen cans of creamed corn?”


I smiled, slightly embarassed. “I was afraid there would be a blizzard and I couldn’t get to the store.”


She seemed incredulous. “I didn’t know you even liked creamed corn.”




I dropped my chin to my chest as I admitted, “I really don’t, but it was on sale. Three cans for a dollar.”


Apparently, my initial purchase had been 15 cans. Trust me when I say that if there were 15 cans of creamed corn, there were also cans of green beans, corn and peas, so who knows how many total cans of vegetables I owned!


We’ve laughed about this throughout the years, Mom and I.


How is it that large amounts of “stuff” make us feel a sense of security?


The creamed corn debacle was an aberration. Toilet paper is really my thing.


I come by the toilet paper thing honestly, since my dad was one who always kept us stocked with toilet paper and paper towels. It made sense, since we lived in a rural area with the nearest grocery store half an hour’s drive away.


Now, people grapple for TP, buying it for themselves, their relatives, their neighbors.


Mom got a call from home. Her neighbor asked if she could go in Mom’s house and check her inventory of TP. She said she would stock Mom up if needed, but was she really helping herself to Mom’s supply?


Just kidding, Deb.


Isn’t it funny how material things, even humble toilet tissue, can give us a sense of security?

What material things give you a sense of security?


A well stocked refrigerator?


A closet (or closets) full of clothes?


A reliable car?


A full gas tank?


Money in the bank?


A comfortable and safe home?


A generous supply of ( fill in the blank).


We hunt (shop) and gather (purchase) to feel that sense of security. It’s human nature. It’s how we are built.


Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel of Saint Matthew, says that the material “treasures” we accumulate are temporary. Any other time, we’d laugh at considering TP a “treasure,” except now, when shoppers swarm like bees around the store employee as he wheels out a pallet of the soft, white fluffy rolls.


The social distancing that keeps us at home now with time on our hands gives us all a chance to consider and be thankful for what really matters.


The real treasures.


You know what they are.


Later today, I may just sit on the floor and investigate the contents of the lower kitchen cabinets. It could be an adventure; one never knows!


Lord, You are my security. Your Word is timeless and Your Truth all powerful. Let Your Grace shine out of us, like a beacon across the social distance, as we acknowledge to one another that all will be well. Amen.


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