You know what scares me?
The Wal-Mart checkout line. Yep, you never know what might happen as you step into a lane and approach the register. There is always a long wait. Usually three or four carts ahead loaded down with all manner of booty, children and some interesting Characters.
I’ve watched a fight break out between a couple and a man standing in said line. I’ve sheltered my ears form blood curdling screams shooting out of a toddler who was denied a toy. I couldn’t believe that amount of sound could come out of a body so small. And I’ve waited patiently and then again, on that special day of the month, not so patiently.
Today was no different as I stepped into the line with my cart loaded down and found myself standing behind four other carts. And wouldn’t you know it, I have the slow checker. Can you see a need for an attitude adjustment? Ugh! I inched forward trying not to crowd the older couple in front of me. From my peripheral vision I could tell someone stepped up behind me. Oh man, this person isn’t pushing a cart; I can glimpse a couple of boxes in his hands.
Here is where I really get into trouble. Do I let this man go ahead of me? I’m afraid to turn around for fear there are four more like him with only a few items in hand. What is a girl to do? My conscious wrestles with itself.
And it wrestles some more and I keep my eyes straight forward deciding I have to get out of here before a fight breaks out or worse, I’m spotted by someone I know and I’m not wearing makeup. Sheesh!
Finally, I’m close enough to the conveyer belt and I begin to unload. That’s when it happened.
“You Christian?” I look at the man who has been standing behind me this entire time. He’s an older Asian man and he spoke in a soft voice with a thick accent. I feel like I hear the word from heaven saying, “Busted.” I could have let the guy pass but I didn’t and now he’s asking me if I’m a Christian. Then I think, “How did he know? Does it show that I’m a believer?”
“Yes, I’m a Christian,” I reply. “You?”
“I Catholic. I read Bible,” he says in his staccato voice.
“How did you know I am a Christian?”
“Necklaas.” I reach up and touch the silver cross.
I smile and look up to his face in between placing items on the belt. We engage in a simple conversation as he tells me about reading Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah. Somehow it comes up that I write “Christian stuff, a marriage book."
“I married 38 year. My first wife, she die after 13. I marry again, make 38 year. Total.”
“Wow, I reply with a broad smile.
He goes on and here is when I get the whammy, “Have good marriage. I neva argue.”
I don’t know what to say, so I babble like an idiot, “Well, you are a wise man indeed.”
He smiles all wise like and says to me, “Jesus neva argu. I neva argu. Good marriage.”
I stop what I’m doing, look into this man’s face and wonder, perhaps, is this an angel in disguise?
I gather myself and ask “What is your name?”
“Bert…. something or other,” I couldn’t make it out.
“Thank you Bert. You are absolutely right. I needed to hear your wise words today.” The check-out was finished. I hugged that man right there in the Wal-Mart checkout lane and knew he was special.
His words have set heavy on my heart all day. Bert made me think about Jesus. He didn't argue with the skeptics. Truth was all He needed and He let God do the arguing for Him. I wonder how different my early years of marriage would have been, even my years now, if I just rest from the argument.
Sometimes Wal-Mart is scary. But today my friends, God was walkin' the lanes and all manner of wisdom and grace was abounding. It's a blast to live the believer's life.
Bert, thank you my man. You were a delight and I pray we will meet again one day in front of the Throne of Grace. May the Lord bless you and keep you. Keep on preachin' it brother!!!!!
A profoundly thankful wife who feels a fresh peace about her faith, trusting that truth will prove itself out. And that truth is Jesus the Christ.