On Tuesday I stopped by one of the local restaurants here in Willard to pick up some lunch for a committee meeting. Both of the counter employees were helping other folks, so I had a bit of time to figure out what I was going to order. While I was waiting for my turn to order my food, a woman entered the restaurant and stood behind me. She was quite obviously impatient, sighing and shifting behind me, then, suddenly, she just stepped around me and called out her order to the worker who had turned to help me.
I turned to look at her in surprise at the breach in etiquette but she just shrugged and said, “I just thought I would order since you seemed to still be deciding.” The poor worker didn’t know what to do, looking first at me and then the lady. I really wasn’t in any hurry at all, so I just smiled and told the worker to go ahead and serve her first.
After receiving her food, the woman then began to complain about the poor service that she felt like she always received at the store. She actually angrily berated the worker behind the register, calling her rude and mean. Then, she paid for her food and left the restaurant.
As I took my order to the register to pay, I could see that the store employee was visibly upset. You see, not only had she been sorely mistreated, the incident had happened in front of the store owner — adding to her embarrassment, I’m sure. In that moment, I sensed the prompting of the Spirit in my heart. Man, did I want to encourage her! As she handed me my receipt, I leaned in toward her and softly said, “Hey, I just want you to know, that woman was very rude and inconsiderate, and I thought you handled that difficult situation really well.”
Every day you and I have the opportunity to be a blessing to someone — this world is all too full of folks who are ready to offer a curse, instead. I don’t always get it right, but I was thankful for the prompting of the Holy Spirit on Tuesday. The Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NIV This week, what would happen if we all intentionally sought opportunities to be a blessing to those around us? What if we offered a word of encouragement when someone really needed it? May we all be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience as we go through life, simply because God has extended those very same qualities to us.