Checking out


I had no cash in my wallet. I blanked out and couldn’t remember my debit card pin number. The Wal-Mart cashier had already scanned in all my items. Oh great.

“Forty dollars and eighty cents will be your total,” she told me. After a few seconds of frantic frustration I confessed, “I am so sorry—I can’t remember my pin number and I don’t have any cash! Could you hold it while I find my mom?”

“Uh…sure” she agreed.

I began searching for my mom, knowing that finding someone in a crowded Super Wal-Mart is very difficult, and often unsuccessful. To make matters worse, it was about 5pm during the Christmas rush. I’m sure you can imagine. Thankfully, after a minute or two I spotted my mom in another check-out line.

“Mom!” I exclaimed with relief.

“Grace, dear, I can’t talk to you right now, and I need you to leave because I’m buying your Christmas gift.”

“But, mom, I need money—and the cashier is waiting—and there are people behind me in line—and…”

“Grace, just go stand over there and I’ll talk to you when I’m done”

“But mom—”

Oh my goodness. This is crazy, I thought. I considered calling my bank and asking for my pin number, but the bank was closed by this time. After several minutes, my mom finished checking out and I rushed over to her. She had run into an old friend and was busy chatting.

“Mom,” I interrupted, “I really need a check—or some cash—or something. I’ll pay you back.”

Returning to the cashier, I found that she, and the people behind me in line, had been simply waiting all this time. Great. Now they are probably all going to be mad at me.
Surprisingly, they didn’t seem to be upset. I handed the cashier the two $20s and a dime.

“Um, It’s actually forty dollars and eighty cents,” the cashier responded.

Uh oh. I had remembered the total wrong. I was still 70 cents short!

The search for my mom began–again. I didn’t see her anywhere. I can’t believe this is happening. She was just here a minute ago! Why do embarrassing things always have to happen to me?! (“Hmmm…I wonder…” Stephen would answer.)

I must have looked rather silly running through all the self checkout aisles and lines of people. Eventually I found my mom sitting on a bench by the door.

After getting the change and paying the cashier, I apologized for the inconvenience. Then I turned to the lady behind me in line and apologized for making her wait all that time. Thankfully she didn’t seem bothered at all…she just looked somewhat amused. Whew! That was crazy.

At least I didn’t try to slide my driver’s permit instead of my debit card like I accidentally did one time…but that’s another story. 🙂

A few weeks later I was at Wal-Mart again and I noticed someone waving at me. It was the same cashier girl! She was all smiles and we began to talk. We chatted for about 5 minutes and I explained a few things about our family ministry and left her with a tract. Now when I go to Wal-mart I purposely go through her line since we are “friends” now. I am hoping to go back and talk with her more. God is so creative…He uses all kinds of different ways to bring us into contact with people so we can be a witness to them of who He is.

10 thoughts on “Checking out

  1. Ahh, that is such a cool/funny story Grace! (And don’t worry, embarrassing things happen to me too all the time – it’s even worse now that I’m driving ^_^). God IS so incredible and creative though in accomplishing His plans and even in just making for a good story. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this; it brightened my day!

  2. Grace,
    That is a very funny story, I have never had that happen to me. But I do remember being left in the Walmart store by my parents, I had told them when they were checking out that I needed to use the restroom, they were like o.k. Well I got out of the restroom and my parents weren’t in sight! Mom eventually remembered me on the way out to the car, and came back for me! But I do have to admit that I started to get scared a little bit! 🙂 It is amazing how God can turn a horrible situation into a witnessing opportunity! That is a great story!

  3. I’m so relieved that it’s not only me who forgets PIN numbers.
    That moment of realizing i’ve forgotten is quite funny NOW but embarrasing at the time.

  4. That must NOT have been fun when it was happening, but it does sound funny now. I haven’t had any embarrasing moments like that yet, but I’ve already figured out that I’ll have SEVERAL when I get my License. Oh well, all part of life I guess. 🙂 Thanks for sharing…

  5. I had some trouble with the PIN when I was using my dad’s debit card today. I usually use my mom’s, so I typed in her PIN on his card, it was pretty embarassing seeing this isn’t the first time. 🙂

  6. How Funny! I hope that the lady you talked to will be open to hear more about Christ. Sometimes God works in funny ways, doesn’t He?! I’ll be praying for you…

  7. Oh dear Grace, that’s one of the best stories ever. Now i know i’m not alone! Haha — then there was this once I was trying to pay a RM20 bill with coins…………

    …….but I didn’t get to witness to him =/

    thanks so much for sharing, Grace, you have no idea how timely it is that I’m reading your blog & reaching your witnessing stories! take care, loove, eunice.

  8. That’s great. Things like that always happen to me as well! And you’re right, God sure does work in funny ways:-)
    -Sarah E.

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