Wow, just got back from Walmart in Nicholasville, KY. No, I did NOT travel 700 miles to go to this specific Walmart. I am dogsitting for my uncle (who lives here in Lancaster, KY) for a week. In an effort to fight cabin fever, I took a shower today (sick) and decided to get out of the house. Naturally, my first thought is Walmart. It has Mountain Dew and chips and Christmas stuff… Why not?
As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, this was my thought (and I went on to air the thought on Twitter):
“So glad I went the extra mile to look presentable today because I’m pretty sure this Walmart should have
#peopleofwalmart cameras built in!”
Funny. Just a glance around the parking lot and that was what I came up with. So funny! Quick-witted even. But what I didn’t know was that little bit of “humor” and social analysis was a red flag connected to an area of sin deep in my heart.
As I walked into the store I noticed everyone staring at me. I mean everyone. For a few minutes I pretended like I didn’t see the poor, white trash people staring at me. My mind went a million directions:
Really? Have you never seen someone with makeup on before?
Honestly! Is confidence something they don’t breed in Kentucky?
Wow, maybe I shouldn’t have worn the cute boots AND the hat…
Horrible. Look at that girl, her mama has never told her what she looks like… She probably wants to look just like me.
And on, and on, and on my sinful heart jeered.
Get in the car:
Wow, I cannot believe that just happened. I really just judged people based on their clothing and outward appearances? Everything I never wanted to be just came out in the wash.
When I’m alone, when there’s quiet, I find out who I really am.
I’m not going to pretend like this is a rare occasion for me. I’d be lying to say that this dialogue or one very similar doesn’t take place fairly frequently in my head/heart.
And I can hear you already, “Gosh Eliza, it was just a trip to Walmart, aren’t you being a little hard on yourself?” or “Really, how did you get that from those few seconds of internal dialogue?!”
The truth is that I can never be too hard on myself. For this one situation where the Holy Spirit pricked my conscience and graciously taught me about his grace, there are 1,000 more that I’m too busy or too uninterested to recognize. The depths of my heart are dreadfully dark and cold.
God in his mercy…
Looked on me and said, “You’re mine. Your clothes are unpardonably dirty and worn but I’ll replace them with MY righteousness. You’re not lovable but I’ll love you. You are illegitimate and born into sin but I will adopt You. Your heart is so self-centered and self-absorbed but I’ll die for it.”
I can’t handle the Gospel. I don’t understand it. When my heart quiets down enough to see the firestorm of sin that is truly all around me, I am wrecked again by God’s ability to break down my own walls of sin to save me.
I went to Walmart and God taught me the Gospel (again).