At first I thought maybe I just made it up and my heart was just feeling for her. She then proceeded to pull out a card out of her little change purse that was a food stamps card that would purchase her groceries. The clerk rang her up, she swiped her card and loaded her groceries in her basket. She was starting to walk away when the clerk called her back. "Ma'am, your card only had a $39 balance on there and your total was $44.45, you have a balance due of $5.45." The lady turned to him and said, okay, take off the chicken. I won't buy the chicken. I looked at the clerk and said, "I will pay her bill, just put her balance on me." Both of them stared at me for a few moments and then the lady said, thank you and God bless you."
I paid for my groceries and her balance and then headed to the car. I told my kids the story of what happened in the store and told them that it could be related to what Jesus did for us. He paid our balance, one he did not accumulate, one he did not have to pay, and for nothing in return. Just like I paid for that stranger's groceries, I did not pick out her groceries, I did not have to pay the bill and I was going to get nothing in return. But I did it because as Christ followers our call is to model the gospel in every opportunity we have. Shane Claiborne says, "The gospel is best spread not by force but by fascination."
Yesterday Bennett came home from school and told me that he had told his class what happened at the grocery store. Mom, I told our class that there was a lady in the grocery store and she had a card where the mayor would pay for her groceries but the mayor ain't payin' for chicken, so you bought her chicken for her.
Not exactly Bennett, but close. I pray that even though they may not completely get it now that someday it will sink in and take root in their hearts that our calling is to love like Jesus and "do unto the least of these" even if it means paying for someone else's chicken.