The Walmart Christmas Miracle
The Story of how God works through His people to love others.
I remember the night like it was yesterday. It was the 6th and final session of ALPHA with the higher-security population of the Hamilton County Jail. Through a series of circumstances (which I am now quite sure was God’s design), the three of us volunteers who were there that night ended up with only one inmate in our group.
She had attended all of the sessions and the first night she came in with a chip on her shoulder and a thick wall of protection. This sweet woman admitted that she had only come because the chaplain stood there so long yelling for people to come that she realized, “He wasn’t going to shut up until someone came!” She thinks that is why she was there.
She explained to us her anger toward Christians — how she had been made to feel harshly judged, unwelcome, and unloved by her family and people in her church. By people who professed to be Christians. She joined the military and found it ironic that part of her service included protecting Christians in a country where they were not free to practice their faith.
It took a couple of weeks, but by loving on her, listening to her, and making her realize that sometimes, followers of Christ miss the mark on the greatest command — to love the Lord and to love others. And that last night, we enjoyed some laughs with her and celebrated how God had worked on her heart over the time she spent in jail.
The Wal-Mart Gift Card
She had good news for us, too — she was being released the following morning. We were excited for her, and asked if there was anything we could do for her. At first, she hesitated, but finally admitted that she had put on a lot of weight while incarcerated (not unusual). Embarrassed, she confided that she feared the clothes she wore when booked in, which were all she had, would no longer fit her. All she wanted was, “just some sweat pants or something, and a jacket,” since she didn’t have one when she was booked in.
I joyfully told her how just before coming to the jail that night, I had received in the mail a gift card from my, “anonymous benefactress,” for God’s purpose. She had sent a $50 gift card for Walmart. That would, of course, be more than enough to get some sweat pants and a jacket. The look on her face was priceless. For her to understand that God not only anticipated her need, but saw to it that it was provided for overwhelmed her.
After leaving the jail that night, I went straight to Walmart, where I not only purchased some sweat pants, sweat shirts, and a fleece jacket, but I also told everyone I ran into about my mission and how God blessed one of His children in an incredible way.
I love when God shows off.