A while back a young man in our church preached a message that I can only vaguly remember. Josh, if you're reading this, don't take it personally - I rarely remember anyone's message. What I do remember about his message is the idea of being "Jesus" to those around you - of ministering right where you are. In his message he asked how many of us knew our Wal-Mart greeter's name. His point was that even in a setting such as walking into a large retail store we still have an opportunity to represent Jesus.
Now I am shy my nautre and rarely ever go out of my way to initiate a conversation with anyone much less a stranger. At the time Josh preached this I was thinking, 'Oh that's a great idea but I'm too shy to do something like that'. And I am. Unfortunately.
But it so happens that I have a Wal-Mart greeter who is extra special. I've blogged about him before because he is sometimes the only person in my day who acts happy to see me - other than Taser who is always overjoyed to see me. This older gentelman is not your typical Wal-Mart greeter. He isn't just polite. He is truly friendly and seems to genuinely like people. Since I go to Wal-Mart nearly every day, he has come to know me and he enjoys picking on me about how often I am there.
I've been concerned lately becuase for the past month or so my Wal-Mart greeter has been missing. I worry about some of these older guys because well, things happen. I had hoped that he would show up again and that all would be well.
Today I went to Wal-Mart and was disappointed to see that he is still not there. On the way out I asked another Wal-Mart greeter about him. To my relief, he is just fine and is soaking up the sun in Florida and will be back in a couple of weeks.
He did mention however that another greeter, an older man who is in a wheelchair, had been in the hospital for 6 weeks due to a fall in which he broke his neck. I was stunned. I said that I would pray for him and as I walked out I began wondering about what to do for this man. I will pray for him of course, in fact I already have, but there must be someting else ....some way of building a relationship with someone most of us take for granted .....something tangible that will touch this man and let him know that he matters - even to strangers.