Guacamole. That was a single item of many that Candace Collins was being rung up for at an HEB grocery store one morning.
The cashier, recognizing the same spread that had come through her line hundreds of times before, broke the mold of the typically unexpressive checkout transaction by inserting a simple question. “What do you eat with guacamole?”
“I don't even like it,” answered Candace.
“May I ask why you are buying it then?”, the cashier curiously replied.
Smiling at the jar of green dip and drawing attention to the checkout belt moving the other food items she was purchasing, Candace informed the cashier that all of it was going to feed guests who were participating in Alpha. She went on to to share that Hill Country Bible Church is the Austin sponsor for Alpha, which is an international partnership of churches who host a 10 week program that explores life’s most perplexing questions within the lens of basic Christian beliefs. On this day, participants were retreating to a lake house for the “Day Away” portion of the program. There would be uncensored discussion on big questions, prayer for truth, and delicious food to help everyone feel at home.
“So, you’re like a big Christian or something?”, inquired the cashier.
Before Candace could respond, the cashier began to share that she considered herself to be interwoven in her own religious journey. One in which she was questioning and analyzing the major creeds of mankind to find which one made the most sense to her. Islam had piqued her interest most, but what she called “modesty rules” ultimately made it less attractive to her.
Once all the groceries were loaded in the van, the cashier looked at Candace with tears in her eyes and decidedly said, “I want to know this God.”
The receipt printer whirred, indicating the end of the transaction. Seemingly, their conversation was over. Unexpectedly, as a departure from HEB’s typical practice of having the bagger assist customers to their vehicle, the young man receiving Candace’s groceries insisted that the cashier go with her instead. Clearly, he too saw the opportunity for someone to hear good news.
Candace’s van was parked at the back of the lot, giving the distance needed for a young woman to hear about a God who wants to be in relationship with us and fill the gaps in our lives. That even though our imperfection warrants caution, He is a Father who is unbreakable in the pursuit our hearts and talents so that we may learn to love others more faithfully. That a relationship with Him can begin with the simplest desire of wanting to find purpose in His ways.
Once all the groceries were loaded in the van, the cashier looked at Candace with tears in her eyes and decidedly said, “I want to know this God.” The ordinariness of a day in the grocery line had risen to the extraordinary moment of finding intrigue and joy in the Creator. For a certain cashier, it was a step taken on a road to understanding far beyond what goes well with a guacamole spread.