As I headed home this afternoon, I replayed my mental checklist in my mind a few times so that I wouldn’t forget anything. I didn’t need to pick up dinner because I cooked last night, so we’ll just eat leftovers. I didn’t need to stop for gas. I filled up last week, and I can still go another week before filling up again. All I could think of were things I didn’t need — knowing that God supplies our every need according to his riches in glory.
After that realization, I decided I’d just pick up a few gag gifts and a few symbolic pieces to share with friends. Eventually, I found myself at the Dollar Store. Now, I had no intention of buying gifts there, but I knew I might be able to find a Christmas hat or reindeer antlers to wear to work the next day–two things that were on my mental checklist. I walked briskly to the entrance where I was greeted by a gaunt man abutting the door, sign in hand, and countenance a bit worn by time. As I approached the door, I took a cursory look at his sign. Then I did a double take — assuming that my no-line bifocals needed a second chance to read his sign. It was blank. There was nothing on his sign. Bizarre.
I entered the store and maneuvered through the narrow rows of tacky Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, and candy. Every person I encountered had a list — either in hand or in their heads. They searched feverishly for those items, just as I lapped the entire store twice in search of antlers, a Santa hat, or a jingle bell adorned cap. I came up empty. When I exited the store, the man with the blank sign was gone. Perhaps he had moved further up the road to another store. Maybe he left in search of a pen, or maybe he realized what I did — he didn’t really need anything.
The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. ~Psalm 84:11
I might be over analyzing this, but maybe this man had intended to illustrate exactly what I’ve discovered. Perhaps it was a test or experiment to see how shoppers would react to a blank sign — a beggar who asked for nothing. He left an impression on my heart. I’m still thinking about him and his unspoken message that no eyes have seen nor ears have heard. I hope that this drifter will spread his message to all who see him and read his sign, only to discover that we already have all that we need.
Sadly, that didn’t stop me from going into two more stores. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but I chatted with other last-minute shoppers before finally going home. I learned a valuable lesson tonight that didn’t cost me a thing. I spent a little time browsing and analyzing and realizing that all I really need is a nap. And since it’s my bedtime, I think I’ll give myself the gift of uninterrupted beauty rest.