Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lesson #1 from Wal-Mart

I was at Wal-Mart last night after LifeGroup and I was just irritated.

It had already been a really long day and I hadn't eaten in the last 6 hours! I was getting really testy. The place was packed! All I had was a bag of dog food and a frozen pizza. There were no express lanes open and the self-check out lane was eight people deep. So, I chose a line behind a family.

The family consisted of four. A father, a mother holding a baby and a young teenage son. They were Hispanic and huddled together and took up so much room! The son unloaded the cart and left the cart behind him so I couldn't place my stuff on the converyor belt. It just bugged me. The place was packed and I was holding dog food, (which was one end of the store, so by now was quite heavy) and frozen pizza that was freezing my arm. They didn't have a lot, so I was just aggravated that they wouldn't pass the cart through so the rest of us could have room. And then I saw what they were buying. Diapers and four jars of baby food. That's it!!! Seriously, we need four people to buy diapers and four jars of baby food. My teeth were grinding and I was about to heave a huge sigh. Then the father looked up.

It just stopped me dead in my tracks. In his eyes you could see tired, confusion, pride, and fear. He didn't talk to the checker, he just watched the prices. When the total came up, he pulled out a small wad of bills and peeled off as much as he could, then opened his hand to show coins. He paused. moved them around with his finger. His wife walked over, switched the baby to the other hip and helped him find the right coins. As she was picking them out, he was watching her and the total, and you could see him trying to put it all together. I felt horrible. Here I was angry at the space they were taking up and how inconsiderate I thought they were being, and it was nothing like that. It took me back to when I lived in Costa Rica and I'm sure I had that same look on my face. I didn't understand the money, I had to count out confusing coins and I also had people there to help me. It didn't matter how little they were buying, but the family had to take the trip to Wal-Mart together. The son helps them with translation, the mom helps with the money, and the father is there as the head of the house.

When they left, I felt so guilty for how I felt before. My heart broke. So, now I want to wish that family success in all their lives. And I promise to take a minute and not get aggravated at situations, but try to see the other side. Thank you God, for giving me patience, and helping know when to use it.

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