My mission trips to Honduras-Haiti-China-Vietnam have made me realize the blessings of living in the United States. Sometimes in our daily routines, we meet people, even very briefly, who reinforce that point. This entry is about one of those folks. It ran in June of 2006.
Last Saturday, I made a checklist of things to do to get ready to leave for St. Louis: bank deposit, haircut, pay the rent. I also needed several items for the drive so I visited a Wal-Mart five miles away in Stafford. Preparing to checkout, I found a twenty items or less line and swerved my cart to the register. The cashier was a lady of Asian descent who greeted me with a dazzling smile, asking about my day. She then related me how blessed she was, basically telling me her life story in about ninety seconds. She came from Cambodia but she is of Chinese descent. Communists in Cambodia killed all of her family except her niece and herself: she made it to our fair shores. After thirty years in the United States, she recently visited the land of her birth; she felt fear every minute while in her native land. She told me that she would turn fifty in a few months but she appeared much younger. The name on her name tag read Katherine, obviously the English name she had chosen for herself. Katherine informed me how the Cambodians knew she was living in the US by simply looking at her skin; people her age there look eighty years old. As I took my purchases and headed toward the exit, she made me promise to come back to her store and her line. I will. It was worth the drive simply to have the Lord put me in a place where someone born into poverty and violence can remind me of my blessings. I take my homeland for granted. Katherine does not.
Applicable quote of the day:
"There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org