One Wallet's Witness
- 2009 10 Jul
My week looked so busy, I knew I’d barely have time to speak to anyone other than my family. Several writing projects were due, my women’s Bible study lesson needed reviewing, and guests were scheduled to arrive on Friday evening.
Monday morning found me exhausted even before I began. After flipping randomly through my Bible, I admitted, “Lord, You know how overloaded I feel this week. Please help me to slow down and experience Your presence. Lead me to someone who needs to see You in my life.”
The words almost stuck in my throat. The last thing I felt like doing was reaching out. Reaching out took time, and time seemed to be slipping away faster than I could latch onto it.
That afternoon, I returned a pair of sneakers to the store. “They’re the wrong size,” I explained to the young clerk, “and I can’t find another pair that fit.”
“Too bad,” she responded, as she counted back my refund. “There you go--$37.99.”
“Oh no,” I gasped, handing her back $18. “They were on sale last week for $19.99, remember?”
I heard two young men behind me mumble something about me “either being crazy or just plain stupid.”
“Thanks a lot,” the clerk said. “I guess you’re one of those honest types.”
“Well, I’m a Christian,” I replied matter-of-factly. As I tucked the $19.99 in my wallet, she thanked me again.
The next day at the post office, the Lord gave me a similar opportunity. “I’d like 30 stamps please,” I told the middle-aged woman behind the counter. Her fingers flew over a keypad as she totaled my order. “That’ll be $10.90.”
“Hmm.When I figured it at home, it came to $11.10,” I corrected her.
She tallied it up again, and saw that I was right. “You know, few people will point out an error unless it’s in their favor.”
I handed her an extra twenty cents. “I’m a Christian and I wouldn’t feel right cheating you.”
A grin spread across her face. “I’m also a believer,” she said, reaching across the counter to shake my hand. “Nice to meet you.”
My week was beginning to take on a new flavor, in spite of the extra demands on my time. Funny how God works, I thought.
On Friday, I experienced yet another money-related opportunity to mention my faith. I’d hurried through the grocery store, then dashed to the closest checkout line and stacked my groceries on the counter. But while chatting with my favorite clerk, I overlooked two large items I’d stashed down below on the cart’s bottom rack.
A few minutes later as I unloaded my groceries, I spotted a large bag of potatoes and a container of laundry detergent. A quick glance at my watch told me all I needed to know; it was almost 4:30 and I still had groceries to put away and dinner to prepare before our guests arrived at 6.
Why sweat it? Taunted an impatient voice in my head. It’s a big store. They’ll never miss those two little items. Besides, everyone knows they can write missing items off as a loss. The voice continued to bombard me with half a dozen reasons why I should just head home without paying for the goods. Another Voice countered the argument, though.
It was the same familiar prodding I’d heard since I was a young child. “Do the right thing, even when it’s hard—especially when it’s hard,” my parents had taught me. Their godly example eventually led me to turn my heart over to Jesus at age ten, a decision that had made the difference between merely going to church for the sake of “religion,” or building a life-changing relationship with Christ.
The detergent and potatoes won out. I couldn’t—wouldn’t—take off with nearly $15 worth of free merchandise. I headed back to the store with my nearly empty cart.
The bubbly clerk saw me re-enter the store. “So, have you decided to camp out here tonight?” she kidded.
When I explained to her what had happened, she feigned surprise. “Well, imagine that—a real, live honest person at my check stand!”
“No,” I corrected her, “a real, live Christian at your check stand.”
The week my wallet witnessed was a hectic one. But in spite of my packed schedule, God carved out the time and orchestrated three ordinary situations to allow His light to shine, anyway.
Lord, lead me to someone who needs to see You in my life, I had prayed. I should have known He would find a perfect way to answer.
Originally posted January 1, 2008.
Bonnie Bruno is a CBA author and photographer from the Pacific Northwest. Her latest book, When God Steps In: Stories of Everyday Grace (Standard Publishing, Fall 2007) is a collection of true inspirational stories about God’s intervention in the lives of fifty ordinary people. It features fifty of Bonnie’s black and white nature photos, also. Visit her website at http://www.bonniebruno.com .