A Saturday Morning Visit to WalMart
We just got back from our weekly Saturday morning WalMart visitation. After quickly gathering our goods, we chose the shorter of the two long checkout lines. The lady in front of us was a friendly line-talker. Tall, grey-streaked hair (“earned every one of them”),dressed in faded denim overalls and hiking boots, she asked me for help with a universal battery charger for her cell phone. As is usual in technological matters of late, I was of no help. Meanwhile she kept up interesting conversation with my wife and me as we waited for the non-English-speaking middle-aged couple to finish their check-out.
The couple was finally done being ringed up and their basket was full of food when the husband slid his card to pay. The line had grown very long with many frowning people channeling their disgust in laser-dart stares. The cashier frowned and motioned for him to slide the card again. She frowned again and gestured to the man that the card didn't work. A hand-signed conversation began with no good end in sight. The couple looked perplexed and scared. It was obvious that this was a huge setback for them. They had no currency and their card didn't work. They began to park their cart and were about to leave when the friendly lady with whom we had been conversing, stepped up to the card scanner and ran her debit card through, paying for their groceries. The cashier turned to her and said, "Are you sure you want to do this?" She affirmed. I didn't see the final total, but the basket was full -easily a $150 cart.
The man and woman looked shocked and didn't know what to say. After a moment they gathered themselves and thanked her in some language I didn't recognize. The man came over to her, took her hand, held it firmly, and looked directly at her with tears in his eyes.
As the couple walked away with their basket of food, both my wife and I told the angel what a beautiful gesture that was. She responded, "I really hate to see people embarrassed that way."