By Richard Watkins

Yup. I’ve done it. I’m not proud of it. But I have. I’ve used the 10 items or less line in a supermarket even though I had more than 10 items in my cart.

Don’t look at me like that. Let he who is free from express lane violations be the one to cast the first stone fruit.

It simply makes sense. Why should I, just because I have 11 items in my cart, be subject to standing in line at a regular checkout counter behind the women buying enough single serving cheez-it bags and sports drinks to fuel every single European World Cup soccer team or the elderly man with 50 cans of cat food? Why should I be penalized simply because I was at my prerequisite number of items to use the Express Lane until I picked up that Oberto Beef Stick as an impulse buy at the last second? I am a busy man. I have places to go, things to do, people to see. I have to get one kid to football practice, get the other kid to a doctor’s appointment, get the car back to my wife so she could go to the PTA meeting, all the while making sure I don’t miss the opening kickoff of Monday Night Football.

Is it a wonder that I try to skirt my way through the “official policy of the Safeway Corporation as it pertains to checkout stands”? Besides, what are they going to do; not ring me up, throw me in a van and take me to a Lucky store in another city where they have 15 items or less express lanes?

I shop at Safeway because I feel it is a better store. Better sales, better coupons, better selection. I feel that their Signature Select house brand of foods is much better than Lucky’s Sunny Select. There are more opportunities. It offers more hope. There are better work opportunities, living conditions, education, safety from persecution and violence, economic output growth, and it simply just tastes better.

There are 50 places where people can legally cross the Mexico–United States border. In 2021, 1.6 billion people migrated through the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s a cause for a lot of backed up check-out lines. It is a wonder why some migrants skirt their way past the “official U.S. policy of the Border, Custom and Immigration Department?”  They have places to go, things to do, people to see. They have to get one kid away from being hunted down by the drug cartel. They have to get another kid lifesaving medical care. They have to get a third children enrolled in a U.S. school so they can achieve an education to better help themselves and their families and all before they are scooped up by some Southern State Governor (whose own families migrated from Europe, mind you) under false pretenses.

What are they going to do; send them to Martha’s Vineyard or Vice President Kamala Harris’ front porch?

Not for nothing, but there are countless passages from the bible regarding kindness and caring for immigrants/refugees/foreigners. Such as:

“When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.” Leviticus 19

“So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10

And the coup de grâce:

“The Lord proclaims: Do what is just and right; rescue the oppressed from the power of the oppressor. Don’t exploit or mistreat the refugee, the orphan, and the widow. Don’t spill the blood of the innocent in this place.” Jeremiah 22:3

Now, if you have never snuck through the express lane with more than the allowed number of items, or if you never skipped past the guy thumbing through the latest edition of US Weekly without realizing it was his turn, or never ran to an opening check stand when there were six people waiting ahead of you, then by all means, go gather your rock candy and hurl away. But as the St. Mark Social Justice Prayer, in part, states:

“May we welcome all immigrants and refugees as Your children and support their integration into our society, as we see the value of all who seek to be our neighbors.”