You know what scares me?
The Walmart checkout line. Yep, you never know what might happen as you step into a lane. Sometimes the wait can be looooooong. Typically three or four carts are ahead loaded down with all manner of booty, children attended by some peculiar people. Side note, I’m one of those peculiar people.
It’s actually fascinating to people-watch. A year ago, a fight broke out between a couple and an older guy that was standing behind me. It came close to punching. Sheesh! I’ve sheltered my ears from blood curdling screams that exploded from a toddler who was denied a toy. I sincerely didn’t remember 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.
Yesterday was no different as I stepped into the line with my cart fully loaded to find myself standing behind four other carts. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s a slow-go! 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 catch a glimpse of 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 conscience 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 conveyor 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?”
“Yes, I’m a Christian,” I reply. “You?”
“I Catholic. I read Bible,” he says in his staccato accent.
“How did you know I am a Christian?”
“Your necklace.” I reach up and touch the silver cross.
I smile and look into his face while 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, makes 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 wisely 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, just maybe, is this an angel in disguise?
I gather myself and hug this man. “What is your name?” I ask.
“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 on my heart, heavy, all day. Bert made me think about Jesus and how He didn’t argue. Truth was all He needed and He let God do the arguing for Him. I wonder how different my early years of marriage could have been, even my years now, if I just rested from the argument.
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. Sincerely,
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.