CAN YOU BE TRUSTED TO "DO THE RIGHT THING?"
I pride myself on being creative… but also on being a responsible individual.
Each day, as I complete my to-do list, I’m very-aware of the items in my hands and pockets while….at the same time…I’m completely focused on the clock and my surroundings. But, something happened last Monday, December 3, 2018 (My Birthday).
That day, while Grocery Shopping at Walmart, it was clear I was running late. In an effort to “catch up” I began to hurry and…before I knew it… I was facing a potential disaster.
Leaving Walmart, I raced to the car and quickly shoved my many purchases into the car’s trunk. I was parked in a spot at the end of the row so I left the shopping cart beside the iron pole marking each row. Walmart’s parking lot is always full so I knew someone would find my ideal spot in seconds and be glad for my shopping cart nearby.
About two miles down the road was my next stop, a grocery store named Food Wise. That store offered the best price on cat food and other treats for my “night visitors”. I pulled in a parking spot then reached down for my purse. Only then did it hit me: I’d left my purse in the Walmart Shopping Cart!
Like a wild woman, I drove as fast as possible-- back to Walmart. I was crazed to get back there immediately---desperate to find “my life”….all my I.D cards, my cell phone, two checks I’d yet to deposit, and….more than one hundred sixty dollars in cash! I never carry cash but today was an exception---it was my birthday.
I sped to Walmart’s entrance, slammed on my brakes, and jumped out of the car. Two Salvation Army Volunteers were ringing their bells when I interrupted to ask if anyone had told them about finding a purse in a shopping cart. They shook their heads—“no”—just as a woman with long gray hair, walked toward me and asked “why aren’t you carrying a purse?”
Instantly, I knew something good was about to happen. I grabbed the woman by the arm and said: “Please! Did you find my purse!?!?!? I left it in my shopping cart and I’m desperate to find it.”
The woman described how she and her husband discovered my purse, then.. minutes earlier.. left it inside Walmart with the store manager. I ran in the store, tears of relief running down my face, and happily claimed my lost property! The manager pointed out that the couple who’d found my purse--left a note inside with their names attached. They wanted to verify they’d removed nothing; that everything in the purse was exactly as they’d found it.
The finders of my purse were standing beside my car when I returned from my happy ending. I hugged them both before saying: “I feared someone untrustworthy would find my purse and I’d never see its contents again."
The older woman with long, gray hair, squeezed my hand and said: “Dear friend, we are Jehovah’s Witnesses and we work hard at living our faith.”
Minutes later, driving out of the Walmart parking lot, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Just Imagine--the people who found my purse were trustworthy; they were good and honorable people. I could hardly keep from crying because I'd just experienced real goodness.
There are no coincidences in my life. I easily remembered the day before…the day when my Pine Bluff friend and I were driving down highway 7 and passed a building called Kingdom Hall…the meeting place for Jehovah’s Witnesses. I remember thinking--then saying “I haven’t heard anything about Jehovah’s Witnesses since I left Pine Bluff in the early seventies. I supposed they were all gone...that everyone had died...
In my younger years, my Grandmother Heist was my Sunday School Teacher. I recall one particular lesson she taught---a lesson I’ve never forgotten:
“When there’s goodness in your heart, it doesn’t matter whether you’re labeled a Methodist, a Baptist, a Jew, or a Jehovah’s Witness. We are all equal in God’s sight.”