Monday, June 25, 2012

A baby with young parents, serving the military, and me-It is a God thing.
Please read.  It will take 3 minutes.

Two weeks ago, one night about 9:30 pm, returning from Walmart, I walked back into my house sobbing because my heart was completely filled with many emotions.  My husband looked at me confused, asking what is wrong as a trip to Walmart normally does not do this.

I sat down and told him the following very true, very moving story...I hope you will feel moved and called to action.

Upon finishing my shopping,  I got in a long checkout line in the non-food section.  I was there after 9pm to pick up a few last minute items for a children's activity at church.  I was behind a young couple, with a small baby sitting in the infant portion of the buggy.  They caught my attention. I was struck at how much the young man with his wife reminded me of my own grown children.  A nice appearance, the young man had on athletic type shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops, the young lady had on jeans and a hoodie, the baby was clean and dressed in a little onesie.  As I stood there, I noticed a little more.  They were wearing very simple wedding bands, and the dad kept putting his hand on the back of his wife and child's mother, saying "are you feeling ok?"  "Do you want to go sit in the car?" She did look in my opinion pale like she did not feel really great.  I heard her reply very nicely to him, "no I am fine" and smiled back at her husband.

Well naturally I started playing with the baby, making silly old lady sounds and faces to get the baby to smile and laugh.  The baby's dad (obviously a little girl by the pink onesie) occasionally touched the little baby and bent down to kiss her neck of which she just giggled and smiled.  At one point he looked back at me and I said to him, "that little girl certainly loves her daddy's kisses". He smiled and said yes.  The couple then gave their attention to counting the items in their buggy and began a sorting process counting out 10 jars of baby food, separating them in rows in the buggy.  Then it struck me that all they had in their buggy was jars of baby food and several canisters of baby formula.  The mom and dad appeared to be in low conversation like they were worried and checking twice everything they had.  I continued to play (at a respectful distance) with the baby.

While I stood there, I prayed "Lord this could be my children" and I felt in my heart that they were concerned about the amount in their buggy. 

A register right next to our line opened up.  I immediately looked over to the couple and said, “This register is open, ya’ll go ahead and moved my buggy so they could move pass me.”  The young man said to me, “oh you go ahead” motioning forward, but I replied, “no I am behind you-you go.”  I felt the Lord telling me (urging me) on to stay with this couple.

We got in the next line and the couple started placing the baby food on the register belt the same as they had separated in the buggy.  They added a coupon of some type on the top of each 20 or so jars.  They continued to give each other these worried looks.  The cashier started ringing the items up and about the 4th jar she looked at the woman and said, “This jar of mixed fruit cannot be charged to your coupon.  Your coupon only covers the single fruit jars.”  The young mother looked devastated and looked at her husband with this look that to me was interpreted as, “what do we do now”?  She placed her head in her hand and laid it on the check writing stand.  The young man, very sweetly asked the cashier, “We have gotten this same type of mixed fruit before, what has changed?”  The cashier stated that she was sorry and that it was possible some cashiers always don’t pay attention, but the mixed fruit jars of baby food are not covered.  The cashier said, “I am sorry but I have to obey the rules.”  He accepted this but the couple maintained their very worried looks.  As I watched, it appeared to me that more than half of the baby food jars were being put back in front of the register and taken off of the belt.   Their expressions to each other broke my heart.

I felt the Lord’s yearning again and a clear command, “move Denise, do the right thing.”  I immediately stepped forward, looking at the cashier, and said, “Please stop, add everything that you have put aside to my bill.  I am more than happy to pay for this.”  I looked at the couple and smiled saying, “This is something I want to do, please allow me to help you and this precious baby.”  The young mother’s eyes completely filled with tears, and she made her way back to me and hugged me very tightly saying “thank you.”  The young dad said the same and hugged me as well.   I told them and the cashier, “this is the Lord’s doing!”  I asked the parents did they need anything else such as diapers or wipes?  The mother looked at me and said, “no we have plenty of that it is just the food we were concerned about for her (the baby).”  She hugged me again. The cashier then told them they could go get more for one coupon, but I interjected and told the couple to put that left over coupon back in their wallet for another time and that I would take care of everything that was left. 

The young mother hugged me again and I reached into my purse and grabbed my Harvest Hope business card giving her one and said to them, “If you need anything else for this baby please call me”.  The young dad looked at the card and he came to me and hugged me with tears falling from his eyes.  Frankly, we all were crying.  He said, “Thank you so much! I am leaving in two weeks for the military and we are just trying to take care of much as we can before I leave, as transportation will not be easy for her.”  I immediately put my hand to my chest and felt the power of the Lord.  Here was a young man preparing to go fight for our freedom and doing the very right thing to take care of his family.  I grabbed both his hand and his wife’s hand saying with tears of joy, “You take care of yourself! You have a lot to return home for. ” I looked at the mom and said, “if you need me, please call me”.  They turned and both said thank you to me so sweetly, picked up their baby and walked away.

The cashier said to me at least 5 times, “thank you for doing that”.  I said, “It is everything the Lord does. I did very little but willingly stepped up as He led me”. 

Tears were falling quickly down my face almost rendering me speechless.  I loaded my bags and walked to the door.  As I got to the outside of the parking lot, I could not remember much less see where I had parked my car.  I stood there at the entrance pointed in the direction to my left, hitting the button on my remote to beep my horn.  Suddenly I heard, “Angel lady!  Angel lady!  Your car is right here”.  It was the young man and we were parked on the same row on opposite sides.  I yelled, “thank you” and he said again, “oh, we thank you.”

I got in my car, thanking the Lord that He allowed me to work for Him and prayed for this family, praying and crying all the way home.  The money spent was less than what most people spend on one meal going out to a restaurant.   This situation was not about me, nor about the money spent—both are inconsequential.  What was important was that the Lord did everything to put me behind this young family in line, and He moved my spirit to act as His follower to do the right thing.  I pray I did this all to His Glory!

This is what hunger is about.  This was a family worried about getting food for their baby, before the dad left to go fight for our freedom.  They needed help and help was provided.  I feel blessed that God used me in this way and pray that at Harvest Hope, our staff, volunteers and our donors understand how vital they are to make it possible to feed people every single day in many ways.  Whether it is assisting with our 400 agencies who depend on us for food, or helping the families that stand in the hot sun each day waiting at our own Emergency Food Pantries, or volunteering at one of 40+ mobile food pantries in rural areas, or contributing to our children’s programs or our senior programs—YOU are helping make this kind of assistance a real help.

As we approach our fiscal year end, Harvest Hope is $300,000 short of meeting budget, yet our demand is up over 21%.  If this story moved you, will you right now click here to make a donation to assure that we can continue to serve hungry families?  I hope you will hear the same calling that I hear, that you will be urged to move and do the right thing, right now. God is speaking, will you act? 

As we approach this July 4th weekend, we are mindful both to be thankful for you our donors, our volunteers, our sponsors, each staff person and for every agency out there in our 20 counties that continues the work of making sure no one goes to bed hungry.

My wishes for all families to be fed, our armed forces to return home safely, and for us all to be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy because of those who have fought and fight for our country.

God Bless you and God Bless America!  Happy 4th, Denise

1 comment:

  1. I am moved to tears...Thank you so much for caring for those in need. God is so good.