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Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Bloggable Supermarket Moment

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Words That Become Flesh

Words are important. Without them our actions lose meaning. And without meaning we cannot live. Words can offer perspective, insight, understanding, and vision. Words can bring consolation, comfort, encouragement and hope. Words can take away fear, isolation, shame, and guilt. Words can reconcile, unite, forgive, and heal. Words can bring peace and joy, inner freedom and deep gratitude. Words, in short, can carry love on their wings. A word of love can be the greatest act of love. That is because when our words become flesh in our own lives and the lives of others, we can change the world.

Jesus is the word made flesh. In him speaking and acting were one.

While I do not know if my Giant Supermarket "angel" loves Jesus or not, her words and actions of kindness touched my heart a couple of days ago...

I was "running around" making final preparations for our Commissioning Service on Saturday and had picked up SEVERAL things for that event. I say several because as I was checking out I found the best (I mean QUICKEST) aisle in which to do so. Then, as I'm laying out my MULTIPLE hamburger rolls, ketchup bottles, baby food jars and various sundry other items I begin to get this uncomfortable feeling as I notice a woman behind me with only a few items in her cart. Suddenly, to my horror, I realize that I appear as one of those incredibly inconsiderate people who pays no heed to the "ABOUT 15 items" sign above express lanes! So I very sheepishly look back at the lady behind me and start to move my cart as if to leave. She is saying something quietly and in the general mistrust of people's temperaments in supermarkets, I assume it's something like, "You shouldn't be here, lady! I've got places to go too!" However, she is reassuringly saying, "Don't worry about it, just stay here."

For all I know, this woman doesn't even know Jesus personally, but her willingness to overlook my hurried ignorance spoke volumes in that moment. Not only was I blessed by her kindness, but it also gave pause to think of how I would respond in a similar situation. Would my words (verbal and non-verbal) be speaking of the compassionate love of Christ? Or would my own tension and worry reflect itself in a less gracious manner? I can only hope and pray that I would have responded as this dear woman. After all, it's so often in the little actions and moments that our integrity as followers of Jesus is truly tested.

May the Lord richly bless you my dear supermarket friend, and may you come to Jesus if you haven't already.

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