Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe

Published 9:41 pm Thursday, November 16, 2017

“I’ll be right back — just running to the grocery for a few items,” I called to Othel as I headed for Kroger just five minutes away. The luxury of having a modern grocery just minutes away continues to be on my Thanksgiving list.

As I locked my vehicle in a parking spot that allowed me some extra steps, I heard the familiar bells. There they were — two young ladies welcoming shoppers and reminding them of the Salvation Army’s long list of needy people.

It’s such an easy, convenient means to help support a worthy cause so I always reach for my wallet when I hear the ringing of the Army’s bells. I reached into my zippered purse pocket, but it wasn’t there. Then I rambled through my purse and still no wallet.

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The traffic was coming and going near the entrance so I grabbed a buggy, situated my purse in it and did the semi-panic dig. Without actually dumping the contents on the sidewalk, I was certain that my wallet wasn’t in my purse. Probably somewhere in a coat pocket — I thought to myself as I just smiled at the ringers and started for the grocery entrance.

But wait! I didn’t just have a contribution for the ringers; I didn’t have any cash or credit cards for the groceries. Sure, I’m a familiar face to the checkout workers and produce men, but recognition wouldn’t buy groceries.

I backed out of the entrance, smiled at the ringers again, parked my buggy and headed back to the car. It was my first experience like that and a strange one. The grocery was full of items ready to place in my buggy and cross off my shopping list, but I had no way to purchase them.

The five minute trip back home to search for my wallet was a meditative one. Jesus must look on his human race in disbelief that the abundant life has already been purchased and paid for with his sacrificial blood. Yet multitudes who have heard the good news ignore it and exist in a world just outside God’s abundant life and marked with eternal separation.

I soon located my wallet, went back to Kroger, greeted the ringers again with my contribution and began my shopping. A favorite hymn was appropriate for my grocery aisle travels: “Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.”

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to