As Pam and I were walking into Walmart I made a decision to look at as many individuals as I could, eye to eye, and communicate love. Through produce, seasonings, meat, and frozen fruit I did my best to look people in the face and smile. There were a few friendly, Hellos. When we got to the checkout I remembered how impersonal and detached the experience can be. Pam left me to wait in line while she went to grab another item.
A young woman with daughters about 4 and 7 came to wait in the line behind me. I thought, “How can I love these people?” and reached for some words. I told her that she had sweet children. The younger one coyly, shyly started to warm up to me. I told her we were new in town and asked her where they liked to go out to eat. She gave a couple suggestions. I asked if she went to church because we are looking for a church to plant ourselves. She had not been to church in a long time.
She asked what we were doing in town and I shared a bit about our relationship with the Bellas and Israel. I told her that we love the Lord Jesus and want to share Him with others. She was warming up. The face with too many downward creases started to smile. I looked deep into her eyes and with all the warmth and sincerity I could flow in said, “It’s all about Jesus.”
Pam came back and began to engage the woman. She told us where her husband worked and that they came from Oregon. We were able to banter about our experiences in Oregon. Pam said, “It’s so nice to meet someone from home! May I give you a hug!” She openly received Pam’s love.
I began engaging the checker, saying, “Melissa is a pretty name. It goes well with a pretty person.” She brightened. Pam rounded out the conversation with the woman behind us. As we were leaving I noticed that she began to “pass it on” as she began to talk in a friendly way to the woman in line behind her.
It seems that people will have a smaller step to believe God loves them when they see that we do.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
Steven C Johnson
Landing Strip Enterprise