When I felt the Lord speaking to my heart about applying for a job at Walmart, I must admit that I scratched my head a few times. You see, I was nearly 71 years old and had a few physical issues: both knees are bone on bone due to long ago football injuries, back problems from climbing ladders and falling off a few of them, and carpal tunnels in both wrists from gripping a paint brush and typing for hours and hours at a time.
I was certainly not a poster-perfect candidate for being a cashier at a high volume Walmart Super Center, but yet, I knew the Lord was asking me to do just that.
To better understand what the Lord was asking of me, I need to relate an experience I had almost thirty years beforehand.
At the time, I was employed by a Best Western Motel in maintenance and delivering “meals on wheels” to senior citizen centers. It was a bottom-rung, minimum wage job.
I had just read Fox’s Book of Martyrs, which relates the lives, sufferings, and deaths of the early Christians and Protestant martyrs. As I finished the book, I spoke aloud, “Lord, if this is my destiny, then let me die with a bullet to the head or by guillotine, but not by being burnt to death at a stake. That would be too much for me!”
A few days later, I was hurrying around the kitchen of the motel, readying the meals for the senior centers. I pulled a large tray of roast beef out of a top oven. As I pulled it out, the tray slipped, pouring out its 165° of scalding water and juices over my left hand. I somehow set the tray down without spilling the roast beef.
Then, I stood there looking at my hand. The chefs and kitchen workers were screaming at me to put my hand under the cold water faucet, but I ignored their pleas.
My hand fascinated me because there was no pain inside it – in the muscles, fatty tissues, or nerve endings. The pain was just located on the surface of my skin where it was a bright red in color, but it was really bearable. Not a problem for me to endure it at all.
The chef grabbed my hand and stuck it under the faucet. “Now, you have to go to the doctor and have it checked,” she screamed at me.
I laughed. “No, I’m okay and will deliver the meals to the senior centers.”
“Nevenhoven, you’re a nut.”
“Yeah, that’s probably true, but it’s only because of Jesus and His love for me.”
From that day onward, I have never feared what people could do to me because I knew His grace would help me through it.