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  • "A Musing Pastor"

It means something.

I think shopping is overrated. In fact, I dislike the whole concept. My brain has already settled on the items I need to purchase, so it's get in, get out mentality for me (Bag it; tag it).

Yesterday wasn't any different. Well, actually it was different...

I rolled through the store gathering this and that. I turned and moved toward the yogurt aisle and saw a rather large cart stacked with boxes (right in front of where I wanted to shop). The stocker (I'll call him Jim [not his real name]) was quickly restocking depleted shelves. Body language suggested a worker going through the motions and there was a hint of frustration.

After locating my prey (nonfat greek yogurt) I moved around the cart and stood beside the stocker. There was no acknowledge of my presence by the worker. He just kept mechanically opening boxes, placing product, and dismissing empty boxes. He was like a machine!!

I nonchalantly said, "You must be the yogurt guy today!" His huffed response was quick and a little sharp, "Everyday."

I feigned a pained expression and said, "Oh, that must get old after a while." He nodded and kept working. He was incredibly focused. As I grabbed my yogurt I said, "I'm not sure if this means much to you, but you're doing a great job. I'm a yogurt fan and I am a fan of the yogurt guy too! Thank you."

What occurred next happens too little. He replied, "It does mean something. Thank you very much." I looked at his smile and appreciative reply and knew something just happened.

As I walked away I said, "Have a good one." His reply was upbeat as he said, "You too man. Thanks!"

God has created us social beings yet we tend to walk through a lot of our life sequestered in a narrow tube never allowing many people inside. It isn't as evident where I live but in some areas people make little or no eye contact and speaking to another human would be the scariest thing ever. Why is that? I suppose security might top the list. Perhaps if we were more forthcoming and assertive in our conversation skills, there might be less fear and suspicion. Just my thoughts.

I love the number of times Jesus used words to connect with and bring hope to those around him. Words of encouragement are a positive expression of admiration and acknowledgement of another person. These words can change the mindset and course of another's day. I think that may have occurred yesterday. Blessings were received yesterday. 'Jim' received them and so did Randy.

Knowing we have brought a smile to another person's face should be an ongoing vocation. Today, look at people, smile and say hello. Acknowledge their presence and find something about them to praise. See if their face doesn't light up and your heart doesn't grow a bit.

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