I Love Wal-Mart
Pocket Full of Quarters Trek 2010
I Love Wal-Mart
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
Practice hospitality. Rom 12:13 NIV
I love Wal-Mart. They practice hospitality by welcoming campers and truckers to spend the night for free in their parking lot. Yesterday, I bought 5 shirts for $25. Three of them were hot pink. I bought groceries and dog food. I went back to Halleluiah with my treasures, turned on my furnace, and Belle and I spent the night in the parking lot. Wal-Mart is my favorite store. They feed me, dress me, and put me up for the night. Can you ask for a better host than that? I think Wal-Mart has the spiritual gift of Hospitality.
I’d planned to spend the night in a lovely State Park overlooking a lake but Halleluiah doesn’t like wind. Add rain to the mix and Hal is quite unhappy. He makes driving difficult and throws temper tantrums if I go over 65 miles per hour. For the last two days, wind gusts had shoved us all over the highway. Belle and I were claustrophobic because the freezing driving rain forced us to only leave Halleluiah when necessary. It was 50 miles to the State Park when I spotted a hospitable Wal-Mart and I knew we were done driving for the day.
When I drove into the parking lot of Wal-Mart, I looked for what I call the Wal-Mart Wagon Train. There are usually two – one for truckers and one for campers. I found the campers right away. They huddle together much like those early settlers who traveled west circled their wagon trains at night for protection.
After I parked, a trucker dared to join our side of the parking lot. I thought about reminding him of the unwritten rule that he should stay with the truckers but then I noticed how big his rig was and thought he’d block the wind. I was wrong.
I felt bad abandoning Belle but I needed to play. I can’t think of a better place to play than Wal-Mart. It’s a happy store. They have toys to play with, books to look through, and camping gear to dream about. I entered the store and felt like I’d been let out of jail. I grabbed a cart, dashed up and down isles handing out magnets containing the Sh’ma, and touched everything. I felt momentarily guilty when I remembered my mother saying do not touch, but since I live under grace, I quickly fired the guilt.
Really, I thought I did pretty good. I only bought the groceries I needed. I didn’t need shirts but for $5, it seemed wasteful not to buy at least 3. Later, I tried to explain that logic to Bob but he couldn’t grasp the concept. For someone as smart as he is, he sure does have trouble understanding feminine shopping logic.
After about an hour, I begrudgingly got in the check out line. The poor cashier looked exhausted and stressed. I gave her a tract called “Steps to Peace With God.” I went to Halleluiah, walked Belle in the rain and unloaded the groceries. I shoved the shirts in the overstuffed cabinet and with effort, finally managed to shut the cabinet. I worked for about 3 hours and went to bed.
The wind was blowing so hard that Halleluiah got in a gentle rocking rhythm. I was in Kansas. The Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie. I’ve always wanted to be able to fly. It occurred to me that it would be fun to fly through the air in Halleluiah the way Dorothy flew through the air in her house. As tempting as it was, I decided NOT to ask God for that experience.
I thought of Jesus sleeping peacefully on the boat during a storm. I let the wind rock me to sleep. I slept until Halleluiah’s beeping jolted me awake at 6:00 AM. Beeping in a camper is never good. In fact, any unusual noise is bad. I instantly wondered if it was the gas detector but Hal was just trying to let me know that his battery was running down. I thought about getting up but it was too early. I thought about turning the battery switch off but it was cold and I needed the furnace. I turned on the generator to recharge the battery and let the wind rock me back to sleep for another hour.
When I finally got up, I ate, did my devotions, and walked Belle. Just as I was about to pull out of the parking lot, I heard Wal-Mart calling my name again. I always listen to the Wal-Mart voice. I had 20 minutes before a conference call began. You can have a lot of fun in Wal-Mart in 20 minutes. I dashed inside and bought two more $5 shirts and 5 pair of socks.
As I drove off, I knew I was going to write this story. I write about Wal-Mart at least once on every journey. As much as I advertise for them, it seems like they should be a sponsor for this ministry. If you know anyone who knows anyone at Wal-Mart, could you suggest that please?
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Cheryle Touchton at 904 614 3585.
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