Do you have a tissue or a towel beside you? Are you ready to shed a few (or a lot) of tears? Are you sure?
Well, this story by Sara Fleming is guaranteed to turn on the waterworks. Consider yourselves warned.
It was already 10 pm that night when Sara lined up at an almost empty grocery. A man was in front of her in the cashier line.
The man was choosing items to set aside away from his purchases. Every time, he’d place something back, he’d swipe his card to pay.
Each time, his card would get declined.
He was already buying the minimum of what he needed to buy and he needed to remove more items from it. And he wasn’t alone.
“There was a girl and boy with him, and I heard them call him “Dad” several times,” Sara shared. “The girl was a pre-teen, and the boy was about my son’s age. I could see the embarrassment written all over their faces. It was a week or two after Thanksgiving, and I wondered what they had eaten for the holiday so focused on food.”
Cans of tuna, boxes of pasta, bananas, and apples were being placed back by the cashier and it was breaking Sara’s heart. The children deserve to have full tummies before they go to sleep.
But it looked like it wasn’t happening tonight.
Sara wondered if he was married. When she didn’t see a wedding ring, she knew he was a single parent. He was a struggling, single parent.
Before Sara could think anything else about it, she said she felt something.
“It was like a gentle shove on the back and a mild electric shock to my heart,” Sara recalled. “Pay for these groceries. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the money…I’ll provide. Trust Me. I heard God loud and clear.”
Sara was confused.
How will she do it? Besides, she might embarrass the dad, even more, when she steps in to help without anyone asking for it.
But she felt that invisible shove again. Soft this time. Then she felt a stronger shove.
“”I’ve got it’,” Sara blurted out. “The store was empty, there was no one else in our line, and I watched this man slowly turn, his jaw dropped open.”
Sara told the cashier to put everything she removed back in the family’s basket.
The cashier asked Sara if she was sure and Sara nodded. Sara swiped her card to pay for the groceries while the dad had tears in his eyes, his daughter’s arms around him.
When the cashier finished with the family’s groceries, Sara paid for hers and she thanked God she had enough money in her account to pay for it, too.
The dad was waiting for her to finish with her groceries before he approached her. He was still crying and hugging his children.
He told Sara he didn’t know how he was going to thank her. He confirmed that he was a single dad and it was hard every day.
Sara told him she’s been in his situation before and she wanted to help him and his children. She said it’s what God wanted her to do.
They all shared a hug before they parted ways. When Sara returned to her car, the tears came flooding out.
“I prayed and praised the Lord for allowing me to help. I asked God to give me more opportunities to be obedient and show the world the utter grace He has shown me,” Sarah felt at that time.
A few days later, Sara was in church with her family.
Worship has just ended and the pastor was about to preach. Sara happened to glance to her left when she saw a couple of familiar faces.
At the end of the pew, she was sitting on was the same family from the grocery. She could not believe it.
She whispered to her husband and pointed the family to him.
Sara never told them she was Christian or which church she attended. So she was so surprised to see them.
But she realized this was what God wanted her to do. She was part of His plan for this family to come to God.
Sara shared her story on her blog, Pacis in the Gutter, where her readers were moved by her story.
“Thank you for being a compassionate loving soul for God to work through. I will always try to help anyone in need. I couldn’t not help them it would bother me to just walk away,” Karry Lyn shared.
“God is so good! You are a beautiful soul for Him to work through. Someone coming to Him is the greatest reward!” Hannah Dearth gushed.
“Thank you. I love doing things like this as the Holy Spirit prompts. What a privilege to be His hands and feet (and debit card!)” Rebecca Cox Lenon agreed.
Sara shared her story so other people can hear God’s goodness and mercy. And it has definitely touched and blessed so many people, even just reading it.
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