As much as I dread going to Walmart, for the things I needed, it was my best option. I’m glad I went.
Ahead of me in the self-checkout line was a frail, elderly gentleman who had completed his shopping with a store-provided powered cart. He was standing at the kiosk, but leaning on it for support and adjusting his eyeglasses for focus. It was obvious that the checkout process was confusing to him. I tried to give him some privacy and occupied myself by looking at the various impulse items stocked nearby, but I could easily see his struggle. I admired his resolve to keep trying to figure out the kiosk, but the point came when he just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. The look on his face clearly asked for my help.
We didn’t say a word. Only smiles and nods were exchanged between us as we rang up his order. He only had a few items but he was having a hard time understanding that each item had to have the bar code visible to the scanner. I pointed, smiled, and demonstrated, and then he was on his way. He gained confidence with each beep of the scanner. He only had a few items, a can of soup, some Metamucil, a small cake, disposable razors, a bouquet of flowers, and a bottle of Old Spice. He looked carefully at each item as he rang them up, searching for the bar code, but somehow I could see he was contemplating each of his purchases. In just a few more minutes, he had completed the transaction.
He had as much difficulty in separating the plastic bags as everyone else does but persevered. He placed his sacks in his cart with a deep sigh of satisfaction and stood a little straighter. He looked at his purchases, paused, and smiled to himself. Then, he looked up and spoke his first and only words to me. With a twinkle in his eye, he said, “I’ve got a date tonight.” And then he left.
I finished checking out and drove home still thinking about what I had just witnessed. His date is certainly blessed to have this gentleman around. What he was doing might have seemed simple to many, but for him, it truly took a lot of effort. Clearly, he thought it was worth it, a pearl of great price.
I was blessed, too. I had the opportunity to see love in action, right there in the checkout lane of Walmart.