So I went to the place where all Americans go when they are stressed - Wally World. An oasis of peace and sanity in a crazy world... Right?
With the clock ticking and an out-of-town trip looming large on my horizon, I found myself standing in line, trying to surreptisiously peer at the items in the carts in front of me and guess how long it would be before I could get to the register to check out. So that I could rush to my car and go on to my next frenzied stop.
Suddenly this wizened old man standing behind me, leaned right up next to me and bawled, "WHAT-YOU-SAID-IS-RIGHT!!!!"
Since I hadn't said anything at all, to say I was nonplussed would be putting it mildly. You can probably imagine the thoughts that went through my mind.
Who is this old codger??? (Hmmm... I'm pushing 60 myself...)
Um... this guy next to me obviously has a screw loose. The less we say to each other, probably the better....
Gee, he must be hard of hearing, too!! Just what I need right now, a hard-of-hearing guy yelling at me while others start to stare at us. How awkward is this????
While these thoughts traveled at a rapid-fire pace through my bumfuzzled and slightly alarmed brain, on the outside I managed to smile politely and thank him before angling away from him.
He was not discouraged.
"YOU-ARE-RIGHT,YOU-KNOW. JESUS IS EVERYTHING!"
Whaaaat??? I hadn't said anything about Jesus for sure! I mean, I don't talk about Jesus in Walmart!!
And then it hit me: the little old guy was reading the back of my tee-shirt!!!! Only I couldn't remember which one I was wearing!!! (Well, I have a lot of them...!!!). I hastily looked down at the front of my shirt and read (upside down), "It's not about me..." And immediately I knew - on the back of that particular shirt it says:
It's all about Him
I knew the back of that shirt had a lot more than just those five words - it was a particularly wordy tee-shirt :)- so I wasn't sure what else the little guy had read but at least I knew where he was coming from! He went on to talk about how he was looking for the Lord's return and about how he knew that every day Jesus delayed was a day that God could teach him patience. By this time I really felt we had a listening audience and was more than a little uncomfortable with that. I mean talking about the return of Jesus with a a total stranger who speaks (and hears!) only in the upper decibles and all this taking place in a crowded Wal-Mart on a Sat. afternoon - well, it's somewhat whacked! But I realized he was sincere - basically a nice guy. And after all, my tee-shirt started it...:) So I said something in response and after a bit we parted on good terms.
It wasn't until today that I had time to think about the irony of it all.... And trust me... there was a lot of irony to consider in that exchange of just two days ago... "It's not about me... It's all about Him..." Really????
Now, in a quiet hotel room, I've had time to get the tee-shirt out of my suitcase and actually read the back of it.
It's all about Him
washed in HIS blood
saved by HIS sacrifice,
trusting in HIS word,
depending on HIS love,
living on HIS promises
waiting for HIS return.
I'm tempted to say that the moral of this blog entry is: be careful what you wear to Wal-Mart... Or perhaps more to the point: don't leave home without re-reading your tee-shirt first...
But I think I'll just say that sometimes God sends the physically hard-of-hearing to enlighten the spiritually hard-of-hearing.
Oh, and the next time you are in Wal Mart, look for a little old guy who likes to bawl at the top of his lungs about Jesus' return. That guy... he's God's guy.