Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Give me love, love, love, love, love

Today I'm going to twist a bit away from the romance theme, and talk a little more about love. We just finished Valentine's Day, and I recognize that some of you might be just a bit mushyed-out. (that is so not a word but sounded funny!)

So, instead of romantic love, I want to talk a bit about showing the love of our Father.

I have to be honest and admit that I'm not aways the greatest at it, I fail daily, but not for lack of trying. Showing Jesus' love can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Charity, giving our time to a non-profit, and other acts of community service are all ways we can show love to those around us.

But it's not limited to the obvious stuff. It's in the little things we do day to day. Like not yelling at the guy who cut you off on the interstate. Like holding the elevator for someone who is walking down the hall. Like not gripping at the waitress or stiffing them of a tip just because you're a tight-wad.

Case in point.

Last Sunday, Scott and I were kidless (my WONDERFUL sister let them sleep over so we can enjoy our Valentine's date without having to get the kids) so we stopped by Hardee's on the way to church. We stood in line a few minutes, then placed our order and moved aside. Just a moment of standing there was enough see there were issues. The 'manager' was shouting out order's, rolling her eyes when she wasn't heard or obeyed, and causing pretty much pandemonium. I just wanted to step in and say, "uh, lady, you are SO making it worse."

The poor staff was running in circles, trying to do what their job but weren't very successful.

There was a couple of guys that had ordered a few minutes before us, who after a few more minutes started to complain VERY loudly.

"We've been here for like twenty minutes. What the *bleep* is going on?"

And it continued in a similar manner.

Finally, they walked up to the counter and started yelling at the poor girl working the counter. And I'm not talking complaining, I'm talking YELLING.

She got them their food, which was almost ready anyway, then after they left, hurried to the back for a minute. I KNEW she was crying, and it seriously broke my heart. Why do people have to be so mean? I know you might be in a hurry, and I know slow service is irritating, but good night, that is NO reason to be mean.

The girl came back out and gave me my food and I could tell she was still shaken up. Something welled up within me and so I leaned forward over the counter and looked into her eyes, and said for her ear's only, "You're doing a GREAT job."

It was ridiculously simple, and probably not that profound, but I swear to you, she took a breath, smiled and I could just see a bit of the tension lifted from her shoulders. I walked away and prayed that even though it was this teeny little thing I could say to her, that it would help her smile and make her day just a tad bit better. That it would make a way for someone else to show her Jesus love too, to build upon it so she could see that her Father loves her.

I say this not to tell you how awesome I am, because really, I've complained plenty at restaurants myself and been a big jerk, but it was really eye opening to sit back and see the impact words have on people. This poor girl had to deal with a jerk of a boss probably every day, and disgruntled customers who knows how often.

So I encourage YOU today to find someone YOU can encourage. I can be simple smile and thank you, or a well done, or a hug to someone who needs it.

Brownie points are given if it's done to someone you don't necessarily care for too much or someone that is, uh, harder to do it for. (And don't be thinking "I don't know anyone I don't like!" The bible says not to lie remember!?!)

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