I read today’s second story, a very human, wonderful, moving story, shortly after reading the papal catechesis on Baptism, and I immediately saw the link between Francis’ words and the deeds of this young cashier at a Walmart store.
This article from Aleteia was written by Patty Knap and was entitled, “Serving God and a Woman in Need at Walmart.” It was sub-titled: “This 20-year-old cashier felt nudged by God to help a customer, and ‘When God tells me to do something, I do it’.”
May God bless this young man abundantly (I feel He already has!) as well as the woman he helped!
This will make your day, for sure!
BAPTISM MAKES US CHILDREN OF LIGHT IN A WORLD OFTEN DARK
After spending July in the Santa Marta residence on what we would call a “working vacation,” Pope Francis was again in the spotlight Wednesday as he presided at the weekly general audience. The gathering took place in the air conditioned Paul VI Hall, given the torrid temperatures throughout Italy, especially in larger cities where 100 degrees Fahrenheit has almost become the norm, as have drought conditions throughout the nation.
The Holy Father continued his series of catecheses on Christian hope and highlighted the sacrament of baptism as the gate to eternal life. He began with a beautiful explanation that noted that, “In the early Church, those about to be baptized made their profession of faith facing eastward, seeing the rising sun as a symbol of Christ. Even if our modern world has lost contact with such cosmic imagery, this symbolism retains its power.
In our times, the Pope said, we have lost our fascination with this rite; we have lost our “sensitivity to the language of the cosmos.” But we have retained the significance of the rite: To be a Christian means “to look to the light, to continue to make the profession of faith in the light, even when the world is wrapped up in the night and in darkness”:
“In putting on Christ at baptism we become children of light,” continued the Holy Father. “This light gives us new hope, helps us to know God as Father, and enables us to recognize Jesus in the weakest and poorest. When we were baptized we received a candle that was lit from the Paschal Candle, as a sign of Christ’s victory over the darkness of sin and death. This is also a sign of the life of the Church: to be ablaze with this new light! As Christians, let us remind each other that we have been reborn as children of the light, and, faithful to our baptismal calling, let us share the new hope that Jesus brings.
As he has done on previous occasions when talking about Baptism, Francis asked those present if they knew the date of their Baptism, “which is the date of your rebirth, it is the date of the light, it is the date in which…we were contaminated by the light of Christ.” Holding his hand to his ear, he aked them to repeat their response more loudly.
“What a grace it is,” the Holy Father concluded, “when a Christian truly becomes a ‘Christopher’, a ‘bearer of Christ’ in the world. If we would be faithful to our Baptism, we would spread the light of hope – Baptism is the beginning of hope, that hope of God – and we would pass on to future generations reasons for life.”
MEET A TRUE “CHILD OF LIGHT,” A “BEARER OF CHRIST” IN THE WORLD
A frazzled looking woman showed up at the checkout line of a Walmart in Newcastle, Oklahoma, and a row of impatient customers quickly formed behind her.
She had three active kids with her as she loaded a lot of groceries on to the belt. As she got out a card, a few customers let it be known that they were annoyed it was taking so long.
The 20 year-old cashier, Nicholas Tate, wasn’t impatient, though. He was calm and compassionate as he casually asked, “Has it been one of those days?”
The woman responded yes and said she was a foster parent and had just signed up for a federal program that helps low-income families – WIC. It was her first time using her WIC card.
“She apologized beforehand because she was using WIC and had never used it before,” the Austin Bible Institute student said. He told her it wouldn’t be a problem.
But it turned out there was a problem. The foster mom’s new card wasn’t working for several items, including the main thing she needed — baby formula.
Cashier Nicholas was about to call for a manager but felt prompted to intercede himself. “I felt like God was calling for me to pay for her bill,” he said. “It was without a doubt – God was saying, ‘Pay for this.’”
So that’s just what he did. He got out his own credit card to pay for the $60 worth of groceries. The foster mom was so flabbergasted she burst into tears and left the store.
“When God tells me to do something, I do it,” Nicholas said. “God told me, ‘I put you in this place at the right time and I knew you were ready for this – to pay for this. So without hesitation, I pulled my card out and swiped it.”
A few days later, another customer came up to Nicholas and showed him a Facebook post, and asked if he was the cashier mentioned in the posting. The foster mom had been so shocked by the young cashier’s kindness and generosity that she hadn’t thanked him. She decided to post a message on Facebook hoping to find the cashier’s name so she could thank him.
Thanks to social networking, she was able to do just that, and more.
“I don’t remember everything he said to me after [swiping his card] but I do know he told me that I wasn’t failing and that what we were doing was an amazing thing,” the woman explained.
“I have been able to get into contact with this young man … and thank him again as well as his mom and tell her how incredibly blessed we were by her son and thank her for raising such an exceptional young man,” she wrote. “Additionally multiple managers from Wal-Mart have contacted me regarding this issue to figure out who it was, wanting to help make it right and help however they can. As well as someone from WIC.”
Meanwhile Nicholas, who hopes to be a missionary in Honduras some day, says he’s surprised how many people have been touched by his kindness to a stranger. “It was pretty cool getting to talk to her. I was just trying to bless someone and make their day and it turned into something incredible,” he said.
“It’s not what I did,” Nicholas said. “It’s what God did through something so small. He took something so small and He glorified his name with it.”
(JFL: The name Nicholas is Greek in origin and means ‘victory of the people’)