I wrote this little piece right after band trip in the Spring. I thought it might resonate with you as you consider how you live RIGHT NOW. Yep, even at the grocery store we can be the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus.
Usually at the grocery store I pay little attention to the person checking my groceries, but today God’s desire for me to choose people prompted me to talk. This is how our conversation went:
“How are you today, ma’am?”
“I’m very tired. Just got back from traveling 20 hours on a bus for a band trip.”
“I used to love band trips,” she said. “The best trip was to Corpus Christi.”
“Sounds like fun.”
“Yeah, we had a lot of down time, so I could really relax on the beach.”
“What instrument did you play in band?”
“I was on the drum line, but I injured my back.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. That must’ve been hard. Did you have surgery?”
“No, just some shots and lots of physical therapy.”
“That must’ve been hard.”
“Yeah, it was.”
“Are you better now?”
She smiled. “Yes, much. But sometimes I have to sleep on the floor if it flares up.” She handed me my receipt. “Thank you Mrs. DeMuth. You’ve received a 20% off gas discount today.”
“Thank you,” I said. “I’m glad you’re feeling better.”
I can’t tell you how joyfully fulfilling it was to walk away from that interaction. How much have I missed in this world by being too preoccupied with my time, my needs, my groceries, my agenda? This girl, hopefully, felt listened to and validated. She had the opportunity to share her story, to have someone enter into that story, however brief, and empathize alongside. As I left, I saw a manager type, but obviously my observation skills needed help. He turned out to be a deli worker. “But I can help you?” he said.
I pointed to the checker. “Would you be willing to tell your manager that the checker over there did an amazing job just now?”
“Absolutely,” he said. I walked out of the store, humming, then smiling. It feels good, so good, to choose people.