Last night I went to Wal-Mart.
And waited in line.
First at the pharmacy so I could buy some Sudafed-and I will break in here to state that I wish people would just be honest and do what is right. I get really tired of having to stand in line, show my driver’s licence, and sign my name just so I can buy a box of Sudafed or Advil Cold & Sinus. Dishonest people make life so much more difficult for everyone else. The pharmacies have my sympathies. Ok-back in line. In line to checkout at the front of the store. Of the fourteen check-out lanes that our Wal-Mart store boasts, four of them were open. All with large lines I might add.
First, I felt a little annoyed that Wal-Mart didn’t have more cashiers working and that I was obviously just going to have to wait.
Then, as I stood in line I started looking around and musing. I looked at all the shelves behind the cashiers filled with an abundance. Big tubs of round cheese puffs. Bags of M&M’s in fall colors. Bottles of apple juice. Bags of miniature Snickers. Rubbermaid boxes. Not just two or three of each thing, but many of each. I, and all the other people in line, could have added one or two of each item to our purchases and we would not have completely emptied the shelves. And in comparison to many other Wal-Marts, ours is a small store.
Next, I noticed the items lining the aisle that I was waiting in line in. Magazines. Some boasting great tips and tricks. Always some shouting news about celebrities. Gum. Candy. Snacks. Trinkety Toys.
Then, I took notice of the lady checking out in front of me. I watched as the cashier scanned the customer’s Tide, Doritos, Special Kitty food, grapes, onions, yogurt, Pepsi, and quite a few various other items.
I was simply struck with the abundance around me. We have been reading Kisses from Katie and as I looked around our Wal-Mart store, I thought of Katie and her Uganda. I thought of what we read earlier in the afternoon. About Masese and the poverty and squalor and how the people there pick through the trash looking for something to eat. How they don’t even have the option to stand in line to buy Sudafed to help with allergies.
And then there’s me. Me. Always with a list of things I’d like to have. Things that would make life easier or a little more fun. Me, who already has so much ease. Why wasn’t I born in a place where I would have to pick through trash hoping to find a little something for my empty tummy?
I looked around at all the shoppers waiting in line so they could buy their stuff. I thought about how I buy into the notion that stuff will make me happy. (I’m not sure if the pun was intended or not.) And if stuff makes us happy, that store should’ve been full of very happy people. Everyone looked much like I felt. Trying to be nice and polite, but wondering why Wal-Mart couldn’t open a few more registers because I am just wanting to get through line and be on my way to the next thing on my agenda.
And I thought of the old woman who Katie spoke about who owned nothing of any earthly value, yet was full of joy because of the Jesus she knew.
I filled my dishwasher with dirty dishes after I got home and I set it to start automatically in two hours and I thought about the luxury this dishwasher is. And how I have three meals every day. And dirty dishes to fill the dishwasher with every day. And I am thankful. I like my comfortable life. I don’t think I could live in Uganda. But my heart is filled with compassion for the many, many people all over the world living in extreme need and I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to forget to be thankful for the blessings that are heaped on me and I don’t want to forget to pray for the needy and I don’t want to forget to give. I don’t want to forget that as a Christian, I am responsible.
This song keeps echoing through my mind that my daughter has been singing. A song she learned when she attended VBS with her cousins in Ohio.
Jehoveh-Jirah, my Provider, His grace is sufficient for me, for me, for me.
God shall supply all our needs, According to His riches in glory, He will give His angels guard over me, Jehovah-Jireh cares for me.
Amen. And He cares for every single person. Every person in line at Wal-Mart. Every person who is hungry. Every person everywhere.
Linking up at:
* I will note that Wal-Mart did open a few more registers while I was waiting in line. 🙂
*amazon link is my affiliate