Wednesday, September 4, 2013
August Service Project
Our August service project was an experience that I've had before, one that I've never forgotten. Brooklyn and I were at Walmart. I don't even remember what we were getting... pajamas I think. We were in line, which if you've been at Walmart you know can be quite the experience. Brooklyn was in the cart, but she was begging for every.single.item. her little eyes could focus on in that line. I was tired. The lady in front of us looked to be about the same age as me. She had four kids, a baby who was in the cart, two little boys who were crawling all over the floor, and a little girl who appeared to be about 9 or 10. I could see so much adult in that little girls eyes. She seemed to really be her mom's helper, someone who had a lot of responsibility to help her mom. The mom looked drained... not physically so much as emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. The cart was full of items such as hot dogs, top ramen, cup of noodles, pasta, baby food, and milk. There was nothing of any substance. It was all cheap food, enough to fill the kiddos bellies. When the cashier gave her the total, with all of the food already in her cart, she tried five or six different credit cards. Every single one of them was declined. The line was long behind us. It was a Saturday. Her kids were tired and hungry. She said to the cashier that she was sure that she got just the amount that would fit on her credit card, then asked if she could take some of it back so that she could get something. I quietly told the cashier to leave it all in the cart, to let her go and I would pay for it. He asked if I was serious. Of course I was serious! I've been in that position! More than once! Trying to separate my groceries amongst all of my nearly maxed out credit cards! It happens like monthly to me! It just so happened that on this day, at that time, I had enough for my few items and her food. She looked at me and said, "No! How will I pay you back?" I told her that she wouldn't. I asked her to go home and feed her children. She just stood there, not moving. "How will I pay you back?" I repeated, "You won't. And that's okay." She didn't leave the store. She explained to her daughter what had happened and then appeared to be waiting for me. Brooklyn and I rushed out of the store after I paid. She might have felt blessed. She might have felt the Lord's hand in her life at that very moment, but not more than I did... guaranteed. She might have known for that moment that she was a daughter of a knowing and loving Heavenly Father, but I knew that too. I was put in that situation at that moment, that VERY second, so that I could be an instrument in His hands, and I was honored. **** About three years ago, at the same Walmart, I was feeding my kids at the McDonalds in the front of the store. I am a people watcher, FYI. Like cannot get enough of people! I was watching people in the lines and couldn't take my eyes off of a mother and son in the first line. She had pressure stockings on her arms, hands, and legs and had visible burns on her face and neck. The little boy had the exact same pressure stockings on various parts of his body. They had two carts worth of food. It was taking her a long time to put each item on the conveyer belt. It was clearly painful for her. The line behind her was like 10 people deep, I swear. At the end of the check-out I could tell by her actions and the actions of the cashier that there was a problem. Soon, the check-out line was blinking for a manager. I walked up to the cashier and asked what the problem was. She explained that the girl had left her debit card/credit card/form of payment at home. I handed her my debit card for the $300 groceries. That was all I had on my debit card for the month for groceries, gas, kids hair cuts, insurance, bills, you name it. I didn't think twice. I paid for her groceries and walked away and sat back down with my children. I have never forgotten that feeling! That day! The look on her face! I'm sure that she forgot about it after a day or so, but I never forgot about it. I have felt so immensely blessed that I had that opportunity and that I TOOK it! How many times are we in a position to be HIS hands, and we don't take it. I feel so lucky! *** I have no doubt that when we serve His children, we are taken care of. I don't remember what happened that month after my money was gone, but obviously we were taken care of. The feelings that we can have when we directly serve His children is incredible, like no other feeling!