Jesus at Wal-Mart

Recently a couple saw the face of Jesus on their Wal-Mart receipt.  When this phenomenon was reported by Yahoo, the scoffers began ranting.  Perusing a few of their comments, I was struck by the vehemence of their negativity.  Where are the open minds?

This incident triggered a few memories of my own Wal-Mart epiphanies.  There’s just something about those giant ceramic teacup planters, I guess, that brings you back to normalcy when you’re feeling depressed or out of touch with reality.  I myself would never deny that strolling the aisles of Wal-Mart can be a somewhat spiritual experience.  You find what you’re looking for, I suppose.

On the other hand, sometimes things take you by surprise.  For instance, I remember one particularly dark day when I had to make the dreaded trek to the store for necessities, like shampoo and toilet paper.  (Life goes on, even during dark days.)  As I entered through the automatic doors (thank goodness for those on days when you don’t even have the energy to “push”), I thought to myself, “This is why people don’t smile.”  (“This” of course referring to life issues that shatter dreams, crush hearts and break wills.)

I remember trudging slowly through the store, mechanically gathering the familiar items, and finally standing in line at the check-out.  Staring straight ahead and focusing on Life and her tricks, I was not expecting to feel any differently when I exited than when I had entered.  Placing the items on the counter, I waited my turn.

The check-out girl was friendly and cheerful, which only served to magnify my misery.  For once, I did not feel like returning her smile.  I just stood there, debit card in hand, waiting for the total.  Approved, I waited for the receipt.  As she handed it to me, she said, “Have a nice day.”

I cannot explain what happened next.  Something snapped inside me.  A sort of energy suddenly welled up in me, and I thought to myself, “You know, I believe I will have a nice day!”  In that moment I simply decided to have a nice day.  My circumstances had not changed.  My surroundings had not changed.  The only thing that had changed was my mind.   

When I left the store, I took more with me than toiletries and groceries.  I took the knowledge that I could indeed choose what I would think about.  I would have a nice day because I would not allow my circumstances to ruin my life.  This attitude adjustment would be a long, slow process, but I wasn’t thinking about that as I walked to the car.  I was thinking about how I felt.  I felt better . . . lighter . . . stronger. 

Was it miraculous?  To me it was.  Was it God?  I like to think so.  Did Jesus put his face on a Wal-Mart check-out receipt?  I don’t know. 

But he could if he wanted to.

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About Jan Hamlett

Exploring faith outside the safety of Sunday
This entry was posted in Foxes, Surprises, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Jesus at Wal-Mart

  1. Lisa says:

    This was a good thing for me to read today. I’ll stop feeling blue and sorry for myself now. 🙂

    • Jan Hamlett says:

      Good! I’m glad it helped. A friend told me just yesterday, “Never forget that God is around to help us when we seek for him. Never be afraid of the problems; they are here to make us better, to grow in God’s presence.” I will pass that along also. God bless, and thanks for reading!

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