Young Walmart Cashier Displays Heart of God; Helps Struggling Foster Mom
At Walmart, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of new and dazzling products, frazzled customers, and long lines. In this frenzy, you might lose sight of God’s heart and be a little less Christ-like than you had hoped. But not 20-year-old Walmart cashier Nicholas Tate.
Nick had worked at his local Newcastle, Oklahoma Walmart for almost two years, but never had he experienced what transpired on this particular Friday evening, as he watched a young mother struggle to pay her bill. This bold young man stepped up in a big way, demonstrating that the heart of God beats even in the most consumeristic, secular box store in America. You will not believe what he did.
Wrapping up his shift, Nick noticed his line winding around the corner – a recipe for customer frustration. He continued to work patiently and diligently, even when his own work day had officially ended. More concerned about the customers than the clock, he gave God room to work through him.
One of his customers was an overwhelmed mother with three children. Sensing her distress, Nick struck up a conversation, asking if it was “one of those days.” She replied that she was fostering a baby and, for the first time, she needed to use WIC – a federal assistance program. The trouble was that she didn’t exactly know how to use it.
The transaction was complex because some items weren’t covered by WIC. “She had a good amount of items and most of them went through,” Nick commented. “But she apparently didn’t have the right formula. We had to run a separate transaction for the rest.” The anxious customers in line behind the tired mother were not thrilled, throwing dirty glances in her direction.
According to the weary woman, “[There were] more customers, more grumbling and dirty looks as they moved to the other lane, and I’m frustrated and trying not to cry. At this point, a lady we knew came up and asked why I was causing so many problems. I told her I was just failing as a foster mom because I can’t figure out WIC and almost burst into tears right there.”
To the Rescue
Nick studied the woman with compassion, never once growing impatient. As he called the manager for assistance, he felt compelled to pay the mother’s tab himself. “I already had my card out at that point. I felt like God was telling me to pay for it,” he recounted. “The second [WIC] didn’t work I swiped my card.”
The stunned mother of three incredulously asked him what he was doing as he paid for $60 worth of groceries. It was all the money he had earned during his shift, and he had spent it to help a complete stranger. “I swiped [my card] and instantly she just started bawling her eyes out,” explained Nick.
But Nick didn’t stop there. He then informed her that she wasn’t failing, and that her willingness to care for foster children was amazing. This young man spoke light into a woman’s life, expecting nothing in return.
A Call to Action
Although his random act of kindness has given him 15 minutes of fame, Nick doesn’t believe his generosity makes him special. Instead, he believes he is simply a conduit for God’s love. Nick asked, “When we feel like God is telling us to do something – how many times do we say no?” He continued, “In that moment, without a doubt, He was telling me to pay, telling me these people are in need, to help them.”
The woman did not forget Nick’s genuine generosity. Upon returning home, she realized she didn’t know the cashier’s name, so she decided to share her story on Facebook in hopes of reconnecting with him. After hundreds of people shared her post, she and Nick were reunited.
Not only did she thank him again personally, but she also reached out to his mother to tell her “how incredibly blessed” she was by this “exceptional young man.” After she shared her story, several Walmart managers and someone from WIC contacted her to see how they could help.
Meanwhile, Nick reflected back on this extraordinary encounter, believing that it “confirmed that I’m doing what God wants me to do.” And that’s enough validation for this young man who is truly seeking the heart of God.
No matter your job, position, status, or title, you can change someone’s life – even with a warm smile. Go and be the salt and light of the world!