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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Checkout (06/09/11)

TITLE: End of the Line
By Christine Ramey


Shoppers were lining the aisles of the grocery store eager to get their last minutes items of their thanksgiving dinner list. No one was more concerned about their list than Elizabeth Parker who lived on food stamps. It was quite embarrassing to hand them over to the cashier at the checkout lane but it was all part of living on a fixed income and this shopping day was no different. She stood over an open refrigerated bin as she fixated on the turkeys that were on sale. Not many of them left so the pressure was building with her $25 in food stamps that lied in her hands underneath her grocery list. She wasn’t sure if this was a wise choice because it was rather expensive but she decided what the heck it was on sale! So, with faith and nothing but luck she put the turkey in her buggy. She found the remaining items she needed and headed toward the checkout lane.

Elizabeth had a strong faith in God and believed that no matter what the amount that He would help provide for whatever she could not cover. She needed this to be a special dinner and a special time for her family during this holiday season. People were lined out to the front door waiting for their turn and growing impatient.

One heavy set lady with her hair in curlers and carrying a hand bag across her arms stood getting impatient because the line wasn’t moving. “Well…I sure hope someone gets this a line a moving! I don’t have all day to wait.” She grumbled.

“I wish some people wouldn’t complain and grip about everything little thing. It’s annoying.” Elizabeth said loud enough for the lady to hear.

“You and me both, I can’t stand it when people complain over the stupidest things. It’s definitely not cool to do so!” The older man with a cane said as he pushed his buggy forward in front of her.

Elizabeth was sure glad to see someone else on her side. The man carried on a simple conversation with her as the sales clerk rang up his total.

“Groceries today are so expensive.” The gentlemen began.

“So true, I for one wish the prices would go down. I can’t believe how much they are charging. It’s ridiculous.”

“Amen sister! I’m thankful for my job, but I know many can’t have the simple things. I wish there was more I could do for them. I don’t like seeing people hurting so much.”

“I know what you mean. My family and I…we struggle. I’m just thankful to have food on the table. That’s a blessing in and of itself.” She smiled holding tightly to her food stamps.

“Well, maybe the economy will get better soon. I hope so anyway.”

“That will be $101.99 sir.” The sales clerk added to the distraction.

“Oh thank you, here you go ma’am.” The old gentlemen handed her the money.
Receipts were given and he moved forward as Elizabeth moved behind him. She placed her groceries on the belt as they moved along and waited for the total.

“42.47 ma’am.” She announced.

“What? I don’t have that kind of money. She looked at the papers in her hands and looked back at the crowd behind her noticing their impatience. Then she realized they could hear every word so she tried to be discreet about her situation.

“Ma’am, please can we put some items back. I don’t mean to make a fuss but I only have $25 in food stamps. That’s all.”

The sales clerk smiled and she grabbed the microphone. “Put back on register 7 please.”

Embarrassment fell heavy upon Elizabeth and the kind gentlemen placed the remaining amount in her hands then he said. “God takes care of His own. Have a great Thanksgiving.” Smiling he went out to his car. Leaving Elizabeth with no way to say thank you.

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This article has been read 535 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden 06/16/11
This is a wonderful story of God's provisions in our lives. It is also difficult to use food stamps, because you are on a fixed income. People tend to be too judgmental.

I think you meant to use the word gripe, instead of grip.

Nicely done.
Adele Butler06/16/11
Very well done. I can relate. God always comes through for us.
Nancy Bucca06/16/11
I love the ending to this. Great take on embarrassment in the checkout lane!
Leola Ogle 06/18/11
A good message about God's faithfulness and provision. God bless!
Jan Ackerson 06/19/11
A sweet story--I've been blessed to be able to help out a person or two in checkout lines, and it's definitely fun.

This was a bit rough in a few spots, with some errors in sentence structure (a few run-ons, a few fragments)that a close edit might find.

This is a lovely story of the God who provides--thanks for writing it!
Beth LaBuff 06/19/11
I enjoyed your story of faith. You had this reader emotionall involved. Very nice!
Patricia Protzman06/20/11
Enjoyable story on God's provision. An appropriate title for the theme this week. God Bless.
Rachel Phelps06/20/11
Great MC! Pay attention to the mechanics and focus on honing your voice. Thanks for a good read.
Janice Fitzpatrick06/22/11
I like this because it has so much heart and shows a situation many of us may have been faced with. Whether it's the woman finding it rough financially to put food on the table, or the elderly gentleman who was willing to give we cab relate to this piece. God help us to be givers of what is yours to begin with. Thx for writing this! Good job.