Friday, April 30, 2010

Waiting in the Check-out Line--God’s Charity Case

Mark 10:25 - "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

I was coming home late from work and had to stop at the grocery store. I was tired. As I stood in the check-out line, I noticed the woman ahead of me. She was about 25 years old; she looked haggard and worn out. She was distracted by her three children, the oldest possibly seven years old.

I noticed what she had in her cart—convenience food, chips, frozen pizza. When she checked out, she used her food stamps and some card I assumed had something to do with welfare. For some reason, the card wouldn’t work and after a five minute delay, she sheepishly gathered her stuff and walked out of the store with a look of dejection.

Here I am, a hard working guy, a taxpayer, one who has never been on welfare myself seeing her wasting my tax dollars on convenience food, chips, and frozen pizza. How disgusting! Yet I’m not different from her; I have eaten too much of these things myself and I have received charity from other people.  I was agitated; not only was I delayed but as she walked out the door, I’m sure she saw my self-righteous, indignant look. Yes, I stripped her of some of the last dignity she may have had.

The sight of her and her children walking away from the check out counter in humiliation disturbed me; my mind would not rest. I thought, here I am passing judgment upon this woman because she is on charity when in reality I am God’s charity case. Grace is an undeserved gift from God. Who am I to pass judgment upon her? Of all the people that night, I should have known better. I was the one to be pitied, not her. I couldn’t choose; God chose me. God loves me not because of what I’ve done but because I’m His. God is, and has been, gracious to me. God gave His Son to die for me; I did not deserve it and I have the gall, even if it were for one minute, to pass judgment on this dear woman or any one else for that matter.

I’m not any different than her; I just haven’t been publicly humiliated yet. By the grace of God go I. I’ve asked God for forgiveness. It amazes me how disgusting I can be sometimes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a note, the woman got her groceries that night, but those of us in line sure looked and acted disgusted. I sought this woman out, she taught me alot about how many people struggle to exist in our country. She had two part time jobs. She was kicked out of her family when she would not abort her first child. She was seventeen at the time. She taught me alot. She moved when the bill collectors found out where she lived. Beef