“Try your card again.”
Hoping I’d just swiped it too quickly I swiped the card again slowly.
“Declined. Do you have another card?”
“Um, no I don’t. I don’t understand. I checked my account. There’s enough in there.”
“I’m sorry. Sometimes these things mess up” the cashier said compassionately.
“Yes,” the cashier directed her attention to the lovely African-American woman in the business attire behind me.
“Put it on my bill.”
“Really?” I choked past the lump in my throat. “Thank you. It’s for my mom. She’s got a form of cancer and loves their carrot-raisin salad.”
“Go ahead. And God bless.”
“He already has. Thank you.” I took my bag and just before leaving turned back. It shouldn’t have been an afterthought but it was. “God bless you too.”
Upon reflection I realize just how God-ordained the exchange was. Mom usually gave me her bank card when I shopped for her but that day I didn’t have it and I don’t remember why. I also checked my account as soon as I got home and the available balance covered my produce purchases. I also called the bank and they had no issues with bank cards that day. So it was just a fluke or was it?
Having my mother living with me and taking care of her best I knew how since the diagnosis of myleodysplastic syndrome was tough—mentally and physically. I certainly didn’t need the frustration and embarrassment of insufficient funds. What I needed was what I got: a reminder of God’s Grace which is all sufficient. That’s not usually available at the checkout counter. The usual fare is magazines full of lies and candy full of calories.
I remember something else about that day. The lady who paid for my groceries looked out of place. I can’t explain it except to say she didn’t seem to be from the neighborhood. Maybe she wasn’t. Maybe she was in a hurry between here and there so that is why she paid the bill. Or maybe she was sent to do one little act of kindness for a weary daughter: a gift from her Abba Father. I never saw her again but have never forgotten her. It was less than $10.00 worth of groceries but the memory is priceless.
*true story from the year 2007
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