Thursday, December 18

The Checkout Lane

With the parking lot full, finding a space was almost impossible. Shopper after shopper filed in the store’s front door, lists in hand, and most lacking the Christmas spirit.

The checkout lanes stretched halfway through the store. As angers were on the verge of erupting, loneliness carved a swath through the throng of shoppers, fighting for a place in each line.

“Why don’t they have more checkout lanes open?” complained one shopper.

“I don’t know. This is so depressing,” grumbled another nearby.

Each lane had its share of Grinches and lonely hearts, each moaning over all the congestion. In one lane stood a mother with three small kids in tow, all whining and wanting everything in sight.

In the next lane stood another mother with her three little ones, all in a joyous mood. Six year-old Olivia asked her mother, “Mommy, why is everyone so grumpy?”

Lowering her voice so others wouldn’t hear their conversation, she whispered, “I’m not sure, dear. I think everyone is in a hurry and they don’t know the meaning of Christmas.”

“Don’t they know it’s Jesus’ birthday?”

Trying to shush Olivia, she lowered her voice again, “I guess not. Some people just don’t know.”

“Well, why don’t we tell them?”

“I don’t think this is a very good time, dear.”

“Why not, Mommy? Didn’t you say it’s always time for Jesus?”

“Well, yes, I did, but…”

“Well, let’s tell them.”

Overhearing their conversation, those standing near this family began shifting their weight from one foot to another, uncomfortable as to what they might hear next.

The mother began to silently pray, “Oh, Lord, if You desire others to know it is Your birthday that they’re supposed to be celebrating, then please resolve this situation.”

Olivia bowed her head and thought for a moment. Then, a very soft, little voice began to sweetly sing…

“Away in the manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.”

Silence fell on the checkout lanes. All that could be heard was the whirring of the cash registers. No one said a word.

Then, that sweet little voice began to sing again…

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.”

Just as a place was made for baby Jesus to be born so many years ago, a place was made for Him in the checkout lane. Smiles erupted across the stone-cold faces of the Grinches. Peace swept across the store, carving a swath through the crowd of shoppers and banishing loneliness, and the Grinch, from the checkout lanes.

May the Lord bless you with a special Christmas.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~
8 Responses
  1. Goosebumps all over. Beautiful.

  2. That was an AWESOME stpry..It was so sweet and pure. I loved it!!

    Thank God that I have really not had to deal with the store lines this year. I have done shopping online and most of my shopping was done fairly early.

    I have expressed those on some of those grinches..but I try to make it a point to let them go into front of me in the line. I go out of my way to be nice. You never know what it is that is bothering them. It's probably more than just the line.

    May God give us eyes to see and his heart for those that hurting and lonely.

    Blessings on you Lynn..

  3. Billy Coffey Says:

    Out of the mouths of babes, Lynn.

    I'm not sure which is more sad, though. The fact that Christmas has been reduced to shopping and long lines and grumpy spirits, or the fact that this mother had to lower her voice to speak of what Christmas is all about.

  4. Barbara Says:

    I'm loving your site Lynn. I just wanted to expand on my comment under the contest section -- I already mentioned the goosebumps (and have them again just thinking again about the sweet cherub singing in the grocery store line and Jesus finding the perfect way to touch the hearts of those all around) I just got home from busy shopping, am trying to hurry to get ready for a family portrait tonight, trying to pick up the house for the zillionth time in the past couple days since my son and his wife arrived home -- and I haven't found an awful lot of time for praise and I doubt my busyness is very glorifying to the Lord. This was a very sweet reminder to slow down, let things slide and make time for what REALLY matters. Thanks so much for the post :)

  5. Sweet post Lynn! I always try to cheer people up when I'm in the store, but I haven't tried singing :)A very merry Christmas to you and your family and a richly blessed 2009!

  6. lynnmosher Says:

    Donna, You are so sweet to comment. Thank you so much. I am honored. Blessings to you...

  7. lynnmosher Says:

    Good for you, Lisa. Great attitude! We need more like you in the shopping frenzy. Amen to having eyes and heart for those that are hurting. Be blessed this Christmas...

  8. Walk Says:

    This has to be one of your best posts yet. Wonderful and as Barbara said, it's a reminder to slow down and realize that the greatest gift we could give is telling someone about the real "reason for the season". Merry Christmas, my friend, and prayers for a bless New Year.