Saturday, January 5, 2013

Carts and The Cross

This is prime shopping time for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and this week brought me another Walmart adventure that netted me almost 3000 plastic cups and bowls.  Today my husband and I took the plastic wrappers off them and decided to get a little artistic.

I suppose I should back up to the start of the adventure.  On Wednesday I spent two hours after school waiting in the church parking lot for a truck to arrive with a delivery of items for our shoeboxes.  It finally came and the cheerful driver backed up expertly right to the container.  My brother and sister-in-law arrived just in time to help me load the 43 big cartons into the storage container and I praised God for the safe arrival of that long-prayed-for delivery.

When I got home I had an e-mail telling me that Walmart holiday items were scheduled to be reduced to 75% off at 12:00 am on Thursday, so even though I was exhausted that night I headed to Walmart at 11:30 pm.   I'd previously scoped out the store that still had hundreds of bowls and cups left on their shelves.

I sauntered around the store when I arrived and found a bunch of fluffy holiday fleece throws that were marked down also but when midnight arrived and I scanned the items they were still coming up at 50% off.  As the minutes ticked by and I kept scanning--the prices remained the same.

In faith, I decided to go fill my carts with all the cups and bowls--

I gingerly guided the carts up to the front of the store and checked the prices one more time--still no mark down.  I asked an employee if they would mark the items down for me ahead of time but he said they weren't able to do that.

I kept  praying and kept standing by those carts in the front of the store for another 15 minutes.  Finally,  the employee told me his manager had said he could start ringing my purchases up and they would do a price override to give me 75% off.

The transaction was complicated because in the middle of it the prices started ringing up at the original prices instead of 50% off.  Then a few minutes later they were coming up at 75% off.  In the confusion I got overcharged $60,00 and it took another 30 minutes to figure out how to make that right.

I finally got my 4 shopping carts full of items out to my car at 1:45 am and when I actually got home I couldn't get to sleep until 3:00 am.  A little loss of sleep is nothing at all when I think of the sacrifice Christ made for us.

It's another reminder that the Cross is in the middle of Operation Christmas Child.  These cups will be put into gift-filled shoeboxes that will be distributed by believers in other countries who will use them to give each child and their family a 'gospel opportunity'.

I may not be able to give each child a cup of cold water in Jesus' name, but at least I can give them the cup.

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