Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Opportunity Knocks

"WE ARE OUT OF SYRUP!!" my daughter shouted from the kitchen. "We can't eat our waffles without syrup!"

They are spo-iled.

Nonetheless, I decided to run into Kroger (my "runs" into Kroger are similar to my "runs" into TJ Maxx, only they aren't quite as fun) to get some liquid gold maple syrup (why is this so expensive???) for my babies. I came out with four jars and a Powerade.(What? It was on sale. Next week I'll be running a special post on How to Overdose Your Kids On Sugar). When I got to the checkout line, one of my favorite cashiers was there, but without her usual bright smile. I love her because we chat the entire time she's scanning groceries (our favorite topic? Hair.), and she's normally full of chit-chat about her son, her school and her work. Today, she barely looked up. Her face was downcast and sad, and when I asked her how she was doing, she could only reply, "I've been better." Turns out, she had experienced a frightening health scare the day before and was feeling bad, and work was sending her home. The thought crossed my mind to tell her that I would pray for her, but before I could, the conversation swung in a different direction and another cashier stepped up to take her place. I didn't want to be awkward or anything, so I let it drop and left the store.

As I drove away from Kroger, she was foremost in my thoughts. She's such a sweet girl, trying to take care of her family, work and go to school at the same time. It's true that she probably needed prayer (don't we all?), but maybe she needed to know that she had my prayers. Maybe it would have made a difference in her day. Maybe not. But at least she would have known that I didn't ask her how she was doing out of obligation, but I asked because I really do care about her welfare. The further I drove away, the more I thought about it. I should have asked her if there was anything I could do to help her out. Maybe I should have offered to help with her son. Now, honestly, I really don't know this girl, and for all I know she would have looked at me like I had three heads for offering to help with her baby. I debated in my head that, yes, it could have been really awkward. But instead of grabbing an opportunity to let a fellow human being know that someone else was thinking of her and her well-being, I walked away.

I believe that God gives us each opportunities to show His love. Some are big and some are small. But regardless of the size of the opportunity, the impact it can have can be huge, but only if we willing to put ourselves out there a little bit.

So, Jen, I know you probably won't read this, but if you do, I'm praying for you, girl. You have a smile that brightens up other people's day!  You make a difference in the lives of other people. Your happy is contagious. And I hope that the next time I have to run into Kroger, you're there to talk hair.

Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.
{psalm 31:24}

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