She’s there almost every time I go to Walmart. An older lady, just sitting greeting each and every person.
Walmart isn’t my favorite place, but this one is convenient to the gym and the business I work for. I try to go early in the morning before it gets busy. She’s there every time I go on a weekday morning sitting on the bench near the shopping carts. Every time she greets you with a “Good morning. God bless you,” or “Have a great day. God bless you,” as you leave. And every time I think to myself that she must have the spiritual gift of encouragement.
I always speak politely to her and say good morning or thank you, but that’s all. I’m so task oriented my brain is focused on the task at hand. Get what I need to get and leave. I’ve wondered for over a year what her story is. Why does she sit there so many mornings greeting people? Where does she live? Is she not able to work?
The last time I went I wished I had stopped long enough to ask her. Something told me I should ask.
As I stopped by Walmart just after 7am on this cold January morning to pick up a few groceries, I knew I was supposed to ask her if she was there.
She was there. Sitting on the bench in the drafty entry way next to the shopping carts. Just like always.
“You’re here all the time,” I say to her.
“Yes I am. It’s part of my ministry. From 6-10 every morning Monday through Friday. I pray for each person that walks through these doors.”
I told her each time I’ve seen her I thought she had the gift of encouragement. You could tell she didn’t want to talk about herself. She just wanted to keep greeting each person and praying for them.
Her name is Elizabeth. And she prays.
I wonder how many people she’s greeted and prayed for over the many weeks and months she’s been sitting there and they’ve walked through the doors of Walmart. I’m thankful I have been one of them.