Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Counting Laundry Bottles for Jesus

" Lead me to those who need You today, Jesus. Bring across my path anyone who is the least of these and let me love them with Your love."
This is the prayer I pray every time I walk to work.
It's led me to have some interesting encounters.
Today was no different.

At ten o'clock in the morning a little girl wandered into the store I work at. She was without supervision. We started talking. I learned that she was seven, that she was walking around down town by herself and that she was supposed to be in school but didn't want to go.

I called someone over and explained what was going on. They said they would take care of things. A grandmother was called, words were exchanged and someone planned to come and get her.

I invited her to stock the shelves with me. We played math games.
"If I put one laundry detergent bottle on the shelf and we started with six, how many do you have left?"
She looks up at the ceiling...thinking. "Hmmmm. Five?"
We play like this for twenty minutes or so. We high-five her brilliant deductions, we celebrate her sounding out letters on the name brand labels and we smile when we empty all the boxes.

And then it was time for her to go. I walked her to the door and told her that she was the best shelf-stocker I had worked with in a long time. She smiled and waved goodbye.

As I walked back to the boxes, I heard God whisper, "Thank you."
I stopped. "For what, God?"
"For loving Me today."
I wanted to shake that thought away. I didn't change this girl's situation. I didn't even tell her about Christ. We simply counted laundry bottles together.
"I was hungry and you fed Me. That little girl wanted attention today, she wanted to be told she was smart and was helpful. So I sent her into the store today because I knew you would show her My kindness. What you did for the least of these, you did for Me."

I wanted to cry.
It would be okay. I am in the aisle where we stock Kleenex.

I think about this for the remaining two hours of my shift. I think about how God's kindness leads us to repentance. How we can be kind to others and it can lead them to knowing God's love.
And sometimes, showing His kindness to others leads us to repentance. It is ourselves who find the need to repent.
Repenting for times lost when it only takes a moment to love and we passed it by.
Repentance for thinking that doing the great, big flashy deeds only count as serving God.
Repentance for judging all of the outside of a situation, but forgetting that at the core is a little girl who needs some kindness.

I want to be known as someone who showed others God's kindness.
And in the process, let it find me on bended knee, claiming Christ as my saving grace and only strength.

I included the version with lyrics on screen. The chorus rings true for today, non?

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