Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Checkout (06/09/11)
TITLE: Encounter at the Checkout Counter
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Beyond this casual observance in church, I hadn’t given this man a second thought, not about how he lives, or takes care of himself or if life was burdensome for him. The reason I had never thought passed the casual observance is because I was always too busy thinking about my own needs, wants and problems.
I never realized how self-absorbed I had become until I met this man at a local Café one Sunday morning after church. I was waiting on the checkout line to pay for my lunch when I noticed this man and a store clerk having a discussion. The store clerk was trying to explain that he didn’t have enough money to get a cup of coffee, but the man couldn’t comprehend what she was saying. He just kept holding out his hand filled with change and saying, “but isn’t this enough?”
Watching this man struggle broke my heart and I knew I had to do something about it, so I walked over to the store clerk and handed her a dollar bill telling her to get the man a cup of coffee. As she explained to him what I had done, a big smile came across his face and he must have thanked me for the next five minutes.
After this humbling experience, I repented of being self-absorbed and thanked God for his blessings. God had always given me the means to support myself. Now that I am retired I still enjoy a comfortable life, while all my prayers and hopes have not be answered, God has always been faithful in providing for my physical needs.
Recently I joined the volunteer group at my church by working in the food pantry, a ministry where we serve the needy with food stuffs to keep them from going hungry. Again, God showed me that in this time of great economic woes, it is not just the addict, or the homeless in need, but the hard working people of our society who have become the victims of this crisis. It is heart wrenching to watch fathers who have just lost their jobs, come into the food pantry with their children, and being so ashamed to ask for help that they never make eye contact with us.
It's times like these I am again reminded I’m truly blessed by God. My prayer is that I will never forget the lessons I’ve learned working in the food pantry and most importantly, the ones I learned from a humble, gentle man.
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