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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Noticing People

I went into buy Reese Pieces at a store and saw “buy one get one free.”  The cashier charged me for both boxes.  I pointed out the sign.  Apologetically, she said, “I am sorry.  It’s buy two, get one free.  I wish they wouldn’t do that and confuse people.”
                “And then people get mad at you, don’t they?” I said.
                I continued.  “And it’s not your fault.”  Our conversation continued very pleasantly.  I paid for two and got a third box free. 
                Truth be told, if I were in a cranky mood or not thinking about engaging people in a positive way, I might have grumbled, “Why can’t you be more clear in your signage?”  I might have been mean to the cashier, and over what?  A cheap box of candy?  I have to be intentional about my approach.
                In that exchange, we left each laughing.  I didn’t get to tell her that Jesus loves her.  But, it was positive.  I can pray for her.  I can shop at the CVS again.  I can notice people – where they are hurting, where they struggle.  Cashiers, waitresses, grocery store clerks, and people in a lot of other professions get barked at by grumpy customers all day.  Maybe a bit of kindness and gratitude softens the heart.
                This is pre-evangelism: kindness and gratitude, noticing where a friendly word and a ready sense of humor will do someone some good.  And don’t forget to pray for the person and frequent that place (store, check-out register, restaurant, etc.).  Through noticing, prayer, and constant, consistent, intentional kindness, God will open doors and give opportunities for us to share His love and to share the story of the salvation that we have in Jesus.  Why don’t we spend summer 2012 noticing people who need kindness and need Jesus?

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