On My Walmart Bench

On My Walmart Bench

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When my daughter and I are grocery shopping and I am through first, I wait for her on my Walmart Bench. I’m sure every Walmart store has one. Over there by the wall and on your way out the door.

I make the most of my waiting time. Sometimes I sneak a check on my phone; after all, perhaps my agent has called. Other times, I read a few pages on my Kindle. Most of the time, though, I enjoy the people I meet on my Walmart Bench. Since my kids say, “Mom talks to everyone,” I don’t find it hard to begin a conversation with the person on the bench. That’s about true, as I am FaceBook friends with a nice lady I met on the airplane.

Just this week as I waited, a friendly farmer enlightened me how farmers usually borrow money from banks when it’s time to plant. He said his new city-bride was astonished when he went to the bank for their first-married, planting money. He told her that was the way it was done in the country. My jaw dropped when he mentioned the farmer who borrowed one million dollars to cover planting expenses. It dropped even further when he told me what he paid per acre originally for his farm and the value now. He had me laughing at how he’d have to go up and pay for the groceries when his wife came to check out. One of my friends came by and I introduced him to my new farmer friend. We all chatted for a while. Charles was shopping for his doctor wife and daughters.

It’s hard to forget the lady who sat down on my Walmart Bench some months ago. She said hello and I thought, “Oh, my goodness, she looks like my cousin’s wife” (neither of whom I knew well nor had seen in some time). Turns out she is the sister of my cousin’s wife! Ended up she asked me to pray for her very sick husband. We talked church.

Another bench lady gave me the inside scope on the shopping habits of the friend for whom she was waiting. They had yet two or three other grocery stores to go to at which her friend would spend equally large amounts of money. I didn’t have a good reply to this. Only wished I had her friend’s money.

When I don’t have company on the bench, I people-watch. I gather fodder for my writing from things I observe—the people, their body language and shopping habits, their dress. I just try to absorb. Not render judgment. Because someone is probably watching me. too. Sometimes, I shoot arrow prayers to God for individuals.

Rather than be bored or aggravated with my wait, I like to think I am living in the moment. Maybe I’m encountering a Jabez appointment (The Prayer of Jabez). What I can say is the people I have met on my Walmart Bench have left imprints on my life. I hope I have given something, but know I have received more.

Daughter Courtney arrives with her cart of groceries, ready to go, and I get to share with her the pleasure I’ve had.

Look for and try out your Walmart Bench.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.—Colossians 3:23



Jude Urbanski About Jude Urbanski

Jude Urbanski’s passions are ‘people and places.’ She writes women's fiction featuring strong inspirational romance elements. Her stories invite you to heroes and heroines who spin tragedy into triumph with help from God. First published in nonfiction, Jude continues to write in this field also. Editing services complete Jude’s repertoire.


  1. Ann Ellison says:

    Love your post. My kids accuse me of doing the same thing.

  2. Secret: Let’s consider it one of our spiritual gifts, Ann! Thanks for the drop in.

  3. It’s a great concept in today’s world. It looks like people really do want to be noticed, acknowledged and even talked to! There is a lot to learn in true conversation and in the presence of flesh and blood people. I feel the warmth Jude!

  4. Thanks, Laurie, for stopping by. We indeed are relational beings and are ‘hooked up’ to interact with others. I am glad!

  5. Kristin Bunting Kristin Bunting says:

    Great post, and great perspective, Jude! I love talking to people at “the Wal-Mart” as the southerners around here say. Usually in line at the check-out…I try to strike up some talk with my checker. Other times, I may make a comment to someone considering a purchase I may have made myself…”Oh, that was good…you’ll like it!” I can’t help it; I’m the daughter of a mom who talks to everyone! Maybe someday I’ll “graduate” to my own Wal-Mart bench?

  6. Kristin, I laughed because this is sooooo me too! Yep, the dash was exchanged for a *! It’s sweet tea down there too isn’t it? Try the bench someday!

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