The People of Walmart

peopleofwalmart

It’s time for me to rant.

A Facebook friend of mine posted that he was going to Walmart and to pray for him.  The comments came in from our Christian friends that prayer can’t save you and be strong, and how much they hate that place.  I was the party pooper because I commented ‘Jesus would hang at Walmart.’

I want to be careful how I write this blog because these are friends of mine and even some family members that bash the Walmart experience.  What I don’t understand is the bashing always comes regarding the people that shop there.  As Christians I don’t think we should be a part of that.  Bash the corporation or the service, sure, but the shoppers, well, that’s not cool.

When I shop I do one of two things.

1) If I’m in a hurry my head is down and I’m getting my things and making a beeline to the self check out line.  This is one of the reasons I don’t like Safeway, they don’t have a lot of self check out lines.

2) If I’m not in a hurry my head is up and I try to make eye contact with anyone I pass.  You should try this sometime…people do not like to make eye contact with strangers.  If I do make eye contact I usually do the half smile head bob as my hello. The responses are usually a smile back.  Someday as I grow in my spirituality, I trust the Lord will increase my courage to even strike up a conversation, even offer prayer to stranger.

So let’s think about the Walmart shopper.  This is someone that is probably poorer than a Nordstrom shopper and has needs that could be met by more middle class Christians.

Now what about the Nordstrom shopper?  This shopper is probably well off and although has a tremendous amount of needs, probably won’t admit to them…meaning it’s harder to help.

Jesus had works with his faith.  He met the poor and outcast of society where they were at.  These were humble people, people that in my opinion would shop at Walmart over Nordstrom.  The ‘harvest’ if you will is at Walmart, yet the majority of my Christian friends tease ‘these people’.  I just don’t get it.

Think of Christians like you and me.  Let’s say we go to Walmart, we shop for things we need, only this time instead of taking teasing shots on Facebook we give the half smile and head nod.  Well, in one instance we notice that the person we are head nodding to is distraught, they have a look of help in their eye.  We stop this person and ask ‘are you ok?’

The Walmart shopper pauses and begins to share that they only have money for tonight’s groceries.

I’m not rich but could absolutely walk with them, help them pick out their food for the week and spend another $30 for their groceries that week.  That is Christianity in action.  Meeting a physical need right away adds validity to our cause.  That would be hard to do with a Nordstrom shopper.

Years ago I ran a church basketball league and had a roommate that played hoops but also suffered from body order.  He played in the league a few years and I was always shocked and disappointed in my Christian, church going friends because they would make fun of my roommate.  He eventually stopped coming to our church and I don’t blame him.  He is much better off at a small church that doesn’t do those type of things.

Truth is I know these guys and know their heart.  They love Jesus and love people.  If they went to Walmart and someone came up to them requesting assistance they would absolutely help them.  So why the teasing?  Is teasing harmless?  Am I making a big deal out of something that really isn’t important?

Bashing of the people at Walmart has been referenced a lot by my Christian friends, this along with bashing of the word religion drives me batty.

I just don’t get it.

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