"Don't let your busyness crowd out the needs of others today."
It was an ordinary Tuesday. My son, Doug and I were running errands which included picking up a few groceries at the local market, where we shop a couple times a week.
While we waited in line to check out, we were chatting with each other about plans for the rest of the day. I said “hello” to the cashier, and continued to put my items on the conveyor belt. I didn’t know the cashier’s name, but he was always friendly and almost always the one who would check me out when I got groceries. When he didn’t respond to my hello, I turned around and continued to talk to my son.
As we pointed our grocery cart toward the exit doors, I suddenly felt impressed to turn around and look at the cashier, who was now waiting on the next customer in line. I saw a look of deep sadness on his face, and it caught me off guard. I realized I had not even looked at him directly as I paid for my groceries. I was busy looking at the total on the register and working the credit/debit machine with all those all important questions like, do you want cash back? I quickly walked back to the register where I stood next to him and said, “Are you alright?”
His face crumpled. His girlfriend had been diagnosed the day before with terminal cancer and had been told she only had a few weeks or perhaps even days, to live. She was in a hospital, an hour away, and he couldn’t get any time off work to go and be with her.
My busy day came to a standstill. The customers waiting in line starred at him as his words and feelings tumbled out. I asked if I could give him a hug and when he nodded yes, I put my arms around him and gave him a tight squeeze. For the first time, in the two years I had been shopping at this store, I looked at his name tag.
His name was Les.
“I am so very sorry Les”, I told him. “May I give you a word of encouragement?” When he nodded yes, I reached in my purse and handed him a Seeds That Bless card with these words. “God is never blind to your tears, never deaf to your prayers, and never silent to your pain.” Thank you so much, Les said, I needed these words today. I have been so discouraged and depressed. Thank you for reminding me that God is with me.
Sometimes, we forget to stop and look around us. We are so caught up in our own lives. Yet, God is prompting us to look up, to see the people right in front of us, and to reach out with words of encouragement. We never know what someone is going through.
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