Waiting on Cindy to finish for the day, I sit quietly now. What a beautiful sunny day. Flags are flying and people coming and going into the court house annex. Sometimes I want to keep my mind real busy. The tide of financial hysteria has found its way into my life. I don’t have a lot but with the largest day single loss on Wall Street yesterday even I am a little nervous. One young man looks to be seventeen just passed me. He’s overweight with a scruffy beard and a real mean or maybe no nonsense look on his face. I use to be much more serious as a youth. Kids were placed under constant restraint by the elders of our house. Seen and not heard, around but not noticed. Well I’m a little more lighthearted now. I have decided to love with the love described in the Corinthian letter of Paul. That seems on my mind these days. Love is kind it says.
Doesn’t it just make your day when someone goes out of their way to be courteous or kind? I remember being in line at the little General Store in our town. I wasn’t feeling good and the task was quite a labor because of high blood pressure and high sugar count. Because I was extremely overweight I rarely could stand more than 5minutes before I began to tremble and sweat profusely.
So, I quickly gathered what I needed and made my way to the single check out line. As I rounded the corner to my dismay I saw two people already in line. The young black lady in front of me had a buggy full of all kinds of stuff. I walked up behind her resolved to wait. I didn’t think I was weaving or breathing hard when suddenly the young lady turned to me and offered for me to go before her. Politely I told her, “No, that’s ok. I’ll wait my turn”. She looked at me and said, “I insist” took her basket and promptly moved behind me.
The gesture almost overwhelmed me. I checked myself before I began to cry and softly asked the Lord, “How can I bless her Lord?” The Lord immediately responded, “You know how to do that, just open yourself to my Spirit.” I immediately began to pray in English and unknown tongues under my breath and listen to the inner voice. I walked out to my red Dodge pickup and continued to pray. I rolled down my window to speak to the young lady. As she came out of the store I motioned with my hand for her to come close. She looked surprised but then came to the passenger’s window. I said, “Young lady since I was in line I prayed for you and I believe the Lord told me to tell you, ‘You are suppose to go back to college and much of it will be accomplished by online schooling. You are not to worry about your child the Lord is going to help you with that too because He has ordained to bless you to finish your college.” As I finished her eyes had become wide as saucers. She stepped back from my truck in amazement exclaimed, “My pastor told me that Sunday morning”. I thought, “Thank you Jesus – you have proven yourself to be so real to this child of yours”.
Two years went by and I didn’t see Shannon again. I thought about the incident from time to time and always with some joy at her response. Then this morning Cindy and I had pulled up at Sonic to get a drink at the drive through. When I pulled up to the window to my surprise there was Shannon. She smiled at me and went about her work. Of course I was thrilled to see her. No one was behind me in line so I decided to ask, “Say do you remember me?” She laughed and said, “I will never forget that day.” I continued, “Did you ever go back to school?” She grinned and said, “I sure did and I am about to graduate from college with a double degree.”
We exchanged names and numbers and she promised to contact me with graduation information. I pulled away from the window crying with thankfulness to the Lord for a day of little kindness that had changed someone’s life. What does it take to do good, to prefer someone ahead of you? What does it take to step out of your need and your life to consider someone else’s need? Perhaps, just a little thoughtfulness, a prayer to bless, or an act to obey the inner unction of the Spirit. Sometimes you have to make yourself vulnerable to help others. Remember, one act could change a persons life forever.