A couple weeks ago, I went to the store to grab a quick greeting card and gift card for a special friend’s birthday. While there, I had a most meaningful interaction with a complete stranger.
The cashier in my checkout line was taking a little longer with a customer’s payment than usual. With the next customer, I overheard something that changed my whole attitude.
“Is this for your daughter,” she said to the man in front of me. “My father felt the opposite with me. I never understood why he hated me. All my life, since I can remember.”
I stepped out of line. Something pinged. A story I had heard from my pastor when he had heard that his cashier was having a rough day, so he got out of line and went to buy her a card to cheer her up.
I followed suit. I found a card with something along the lines of, I hope you get whatever heals your heart. I didn’t get back in the same line though. I went to a different line for fear of blowing my cover and feeling too much.
You see, my relationship with my father isn’t the best. It’s complicated and there’s a lot of hurt still trying to heal. So when I heard Miss R‘s brief sentiment, I knew I couldn’t ignore what I had overheard.
In the car, I wrote Miss R a note that her father’s hatred for her doesn’t define who she is. She is worth so much more than his lack of love for her. She is treasured and valuable. And there is a heavenly Father who deeply wants to know her and love her.
As I walked back into the store, I almost felt embarrassed giving Miss R her card. But the joy on her face as she questioned whether the card was really for her or not, was worth my extra 5 minutes spent.
I tell you this not to build myself up, but so that it will be in your mind to share this simple act of kindness. I worried for a couple days after the event about sharing or not sharing and making sure my intentions were from a place of encouragement and not pride.
When I look back on that day, I realize all the interruptions were really a way for me to be in that checkout line at just the right time. I didn’t have my coffee and quiet time that morning. I arrived at the store at a different time than I planned. I spent way too much time browsing the store when I only needed a few things. Yet, the timing was perfect in order to hear what God wanted me to hear.
Oh that I would have eyes to see and ears to hear that which is most important to my God. That I would have boldness and act when I feel that tug and obey in whatever way I am able. Father, break down my expectations for how I think I should see you and obey you. Give me new and fresh eyes to see the things I can do for you right now, right where I am.