Stacey Danielle was standing in a slow check-out line at Walmart when she saw a tired looking mother in front of her. She was sympathetic. She’d been there. Then she saw the woman’s card get declined—she’d been there too.
But the worst part of all was the woman between Danielle and the mom.
She was “complaining SUPER loud about how long it’s taking,” and even looked at Danielle, rolling her eyes, “trying to get me to agree and condone her attitude.”
It turned out, the mom’s credit card had insufficient funds. All she had was a bag of potatoes, two bags of beans, a pack of deli ham, and some bottled water. She then tried to put some items back, but her card was declined again.
Danielle saw her look apologetically back at them, “with the most sad look on her face” and say “I’m so sorry, I just need to call my husband really quick.”
The phone call only confirmed what the woman already knew—the card was dry. He had bought gas earlier that day and she didn’t have enough for groceries for the week.
“I’ll put everything back up I’m so sorry,” the mom said.
Then, to Danielle’s surprise, the woman in front of her just turned around and said, “Oh my God, can you believe some people?”
“I looked her square in the eye and said, ‘Yes, I know. Sometimes it blows my mind how heartless people can be,'” Danielle shared on social media. “The look on her face was something I’ll never forget.”
Danielle realized that the woman in front of her had been more concerned with others sharing her point of view than having empathy for others. She had seen this struggling mom in front of her and all she could think about was being inconvenienced. Danielle wanted to show that struggling woman that not everyone was like that.
She stepped around to the front of the line, and then paid for that woman’s groceries.
“The woman checking out grabbed my hand and said ‘You have no idea how much we needed you to be behind us today,’ and kissed me on the cheek,” Danielle shared on Facebook. “Took about everything in me not to cry.”
“See the thing is it wasn’t so long ago I was that woman at checkout. Standing there trying to make a decision between food, gas or diapers,” Danielle wrote. It’s what inspired her to retell the story. “Don’t you ever judge someone.”
We never know how people came to be in the situations they are in, and judging won’t help them. Danielle told as much to the woman who had complained in line: “I hope you are never in that position, but if you ever are I bet you remember today real clearly…. I’ll be praying for you.”
Then Danielle did something that confused the woman she just helped.
“As she turned to walk out, I said ‘Thank you.’ She looked so confused so I told her why,” she wrote.
“You just remind me of myself a few years ago, and how blessed I truly am and how far I’ve come. You’ll get there too so don’t give up. God’s got a plan for you,” Danielle said.
Be a light for others, she urged.