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 weak 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.
I interviewed for a cashier position at the Temecula Walmart Supercenter on August 12, 2016, and was hired at that time. One of the questions asked was about any physical problems that I might have which might cause me problems in carrying out my duties as a cashier. I answered, “No.”
Did I lie about my physical problems? No, I don’t believe I did because it was my belief that if God called me to be a cashier, He would enable me to fulfill the job. The significance of my answer in writing was that I removed all liability from Walmart for any injuries to my wrists, knees, and back.
My first day was August 25, 2016. For the following two weeks, I worked with veteran cashiers who trained me. Then, I began working on my own in early September.
One of the lessons I have learned over the years is that when God calls you to do something, there is no use in being timid, just jump in with both feet, trusting that God will protect you. I call it reckless faith, much like Paul demonstrated in Acts 16:37. After being beaten, thrown in prison, and fastened in stocks, Paul refused to leave prison until the authorities came and apologized to Silas and him. That takes godly chutzpa!
So, I made up my mind to not protect myself in any way and to do every job asked of me as if I had no injuries. This resulted in some interesting situations, like trying to help a woman with a bad back put a heavy piece of furniture (150 pounds) into her vehicle. It so happened that a strong man walking down the parking lot aisle volunteered to help me. That was lucky, right? No, I don’t believe in luck. I believe in a heavenly Father who loves me so much that He will always be there to help in my time of need.
Did my hands, knees, and back hurt? Yes, so much so, that sometimes I had trouble sleeping at night.
In fact, if anyone would have noticed me stepping out of my car in the Walmart parking lot and walking the one hundred yards to the store’s entrance, they would have wondered how a crippled, one hundred-year old man could possibly work at Walmart. Or that’s what it seemed to me.
Yet, when I walked in the door at Walmart, His grace fell upon me and I became Larry, the cashier with a big smile for everyone. The pain was still there, but it was only on the surface. And as long as I trusted in His grace, which I was forced to do at all times, I could walk through each day.
If we want to serve God, especially us senior citizens, we can’t pray away every one of our problems. If we choose to wait, hoping miracles will heal or prosper us, we may miss our opportunities and if that happens, how many more opportunities can we expect to have in the future. But even so, we can always trust in this verse:
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
One experience, out of many, was worth every ounce of pain that I suffered while working as a cashier. It happened on a busy day when I first opened my register. An elderly man wearing a U. S. Marine veterans cap rode an electric cart up to the register and placed his few groceries on the conveyer belt.
I looked at him and said, “How are you today?”
“I don’t know,” he replied.
“What does that mean?”
“Well, to be honest, the old Sarge is not doing well today.”
“Would you like some prayer?”
I walked around the bagging console, grabbed his hands, and prayed for him. The presence of God fell upon us. We both wept like little children who just opened the best Christmas gift ever.
“Wow, that was awesome!” he proclaimed.
“Yeah,” I said.
I walked back and became a Walmart Cashier at register 6, scanning items. Customers moved to the line and life continued in a normal fashion… or normal for Walmart.
(An excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)