“I had a neat story that happened today,” my friend wrote in her email.
First of all, it is not uncommon for my friend to have a story to tell me. Something is always happening in her life. I think it goes along with a person who yearns to walk in a very real way with Jesus. Rarely does she email that she doesn’t have something similar to the story below to relate. I find her one of the most refreshing friends I have…I digress.
“I was in the check out line at Wal-Mart,” she continued, “and it was one of those days where they didn’t have enough checkers (happens a lot here), and all the lines were full of people with loaded carts. I found one that didn’t have too much left on the belt and got in line. A man got in line behind me and he only had a few things in his cart, so I asked him if he’d like to go ahead of me. He said it was up to me. I told him to go ahead since he had so few items.”
As the man placed his items on the conveyor belt, she told him she thought it was ridiculous for him to have to wait when he had only a few items. “He was kind of a red-neck guy, maybe early 30’s, not sure..maybe older..he was wearing sunglasses. He said he wasn’t going to come to the store that day, but when he woke up he remembered it was the birthday of a the lady he visits at the nursing home. He had to get her something.
“Good for you!” I affirmed, then he added, “It’s funny cause I don’t even know her. Well, I didn’t, but one day when I was leaving after visiting someone I did know, this lady hollered at me when I was going out the door,”What’re you doing?”
So he stopped and talked to her for a few minutes. After that he made sure he stopped to see her, too, every time he went to the nursing home. He said it seemed to make her day,and now he visits her all the time. I said, “That sounds like a God thing!” And he said, “Yeah, the person I knew out there passed away, and I’ve kept going back to visit Sandy (the lady). I tell my kids that it’s God who started it. It’s one of those opportunities that God lays right in front of you and you can choose to ignore it, but you shouldn’t cause it has to be God.”
I said, “Yes, you can be a blessing, and you are blessed too.” He agreed. I also told him he was being a great witness for his kids by visiting this lonely lady in the nursing home. By then his merchandise was being rung up. He had one of those big chocolate chip cookies that say “Happy Birthday” on it and a couple of scary movies for her. He said she always asks for scary movies…lol. He also had an empty quart of chocolate milk and a bag of donuts. He told the checker there were four donuts in the sack but he couldn’t wait and ate two–and that he drank the chocolate milk already too. The checker scanned the empty bottle and threw it away. I said, “I thought that bottle looked empty” (I wondered about it but we were too busy talking..lol).
He laughed and confessed, “Yeah I bring a lot of empty milk bottles to the check out at Wal-Mart. The checker and I laughed with him. Then he told me it was nice talking to me, and I said “God bless you!” And I prayed that God really does bless that man. His story made my day!”
And my friend’s email made mine. What a wonderful example of being “missional” in a world of lonely people. Though this man lost his loved one, he continues to bless this lady with his visits. All because God brought her into his life. I wonder how many times we ignore God when He asks, “What’re you doing?” A nursing home is not a prison, but it can seem like one to the elderly who are parked there by loved ones (or the state), when they have no where else to go. I’m sure some day the Lord will recognize this man as a person who heard His Master’s voice and responded.
Do you have a story like this? One in which you were “on your way out” and God caught your attention? Ever been blessed like this by a stranger? If so, tell us about it. selahV