My Spiritual Revelation in the Walmart Easter Aisle



And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”  John 14:16-20



“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:25-27


Let’s just say I was convicted. Right there in Walmart. First in the Easter aisle, then later in the toy aisle.

It was Saturday, March 7th. Our two oldest were busy with out-of-the-house activities. Our youngest had just gone down for nap. My husband decided to nap as well. He was exhausted from his first full week back at work. That left me with a rare opportunity to get out of the house by myself.

I thought a trip to Walmart might be a good idea. (Okay, Walmart’s never a great idea. But I remember thinking at some point in the past that they had the most options for Easter candy, so I figured I’d give it a whirl.)

There I was. In Walmart. Shopping nearly a month early for Easter basket stuffers. Yes, these are the fun and crazy things I do when I get out of the house by myself.

I went down the Easter candy aisle first. I picked up three York peppermint bunnies, three Hershey’s chocolate crosses, and jelly beans for our kids. For the most part, it was a benign experience.

As I crossed the store to check out the rest of the Easter merchandise, I received a Facebook message. I’d conversed with two people on Facebook messages earlier that afternoon, but wouldn’t have guessed the conversation would resume so soon.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. The conversation was important. God was in the middle of performing a miracle, and for some reason, He was letting me in on it, as it was unfolding. I had a sneaking suspicion awesome things were going to happen that day, and I assumed all of it was going to happen without my direct involvement. But as I responded to the messages, I realized God created space for me, a quiet role for me. My job? To use my words, at that very specific moment in time, to encourage one person to do what they needed to do. One person revealed their basic, but significant need to me. One person revealed their doubt that the need could be met. All I needed to do was provide encouragement to GO, and assurance that YES, God would provide. (God did meet the need, by the way, and a whole lot more.) 

The gravity of the moment washed over me.

The Spirit of truth moved in my soul – right there in the Walmart Easter aisle.

I was paralyzed.

Literally paralyzed.

In another world.

The rest of Walmart was moving faster than me.

In-between the sending and receiving of Facebook messages, I stood still, leaned carefully against my nearly empty cart, and stared blankly at stuffed chicks, bunny plates and big bottles of bubbles.

In those moments of paralysis, I had a revelation as clear as day.

Easter has nothing to do with chicks, bunnies and bubbles. Absolutely nothing. Sure, they’re cute and fun and lovely for the kids and Easter baskets. But they have nothing to do with the true meaning of Easter.

Easter is about a great big God who loves us much and knows us so intimately that He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth. As a babe. So He could step in skin and live a human existence. So He could know our pain, our burdens, our every need. So He could share His wisdom, demonstrate His power, and reveal pure hope found only through Him. Then this fully-God fully-man, Jesus, died. His death was brutal. On the cross. For us. With us. Because of us. He promised, “It is finished.” In three days, He rose. So we might be saved. So we might live. So our ugly sins would be forgiven. So His power could be revealed through us. And then, yes then, He sent this Advocate, this Holy Spirit, this Spirit of truth. Because He wanted a way to teach us all the things, a way to remind us of all the things. God wanted a way to work through us, in us, and for us. As we live, work and breathe here…on earth.

It sounds crazy, I know. It really does sound crazy.

But here’s what I want you to know…

Over the course of the past 10-15 years, event after event has taught me to believe that this God story, this Jesus story, this Holy Spirit story? It has to be true. It must be true. I believe it’s true.

I’m not good at history. I’m not great at theology. I’m not good at “proving” anything beyond a doubt. But I am good at telling real-life experiences. I can tell you, without a doubt, that I’ve had enough real-life experiences to convince me that this Christianity MUST be true. It makes complete sense within the context of so many things that have happened in my life. It has proved itself time and time again.

So what about that miraculous, paralyzing event that happened in the Walmart Easter aisle one month ago? I know you don’t know the details of that story, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s more proof of God’s existence. Proof He wants to work for us, in us, and through us. Proof He’ll go to any lengths He chooses to demonstrate His power and love for us. But in order to experience the fullness of life He desires for us, we must be receptive to His prompting, His calling, His leading. Every. single. day.

I could have turned off my phone that afternoon.

I could have ignored the ding when the Facebook message came in.

I could have thought “Forget it. I’m busy. I’m shopping right now. I really need this time alone to focus and get this job done.” And left it at that.

I could have responded with a quick “Hey, I’m busy right now. Can we chat later?”

I could have shut down the conversation days prior. Then there wouldn’t have been any of that crazy talk in the first place.

I could have attributed any part of the conversation to random circumstance.

I could have responded any which way. And it would have been just fine, had I not believed.

But I wouldn’t have experienced God’s power. I wouldn’t have experienced the strong presence of His Spirit working in me and through me. I wouldn’t have understood what a miracle looks like and sounds like – on the ground – in real time. I wouldn’t have been there to provide encouragement when it was needed. I wouldn’t have recognized the great lengths to which God is willing to pursue us, love us, and develop intimacy with us. So we’ll believe, trust, love and hope. In Him.




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