10 July, 2012


I made a late evening run to the store.

Shopping after 8:00pm is always...shall we say entertaining?
One thought always grabs me and won't leave my mind. (I don't think it's supposed to.)
How would everyone's lives be different if they knew how much they are loved?
From the frustrated single mother
to the tired, worn down woman waiting for public transit
and the pregnant girlfriend who is probably looking for true sacrifice and commitment from her boyfriend-
they all need one thing.

I think what lodges in my brain is wondering how; how can I possibly affect their lives in passing?
What if I smile?
Just one smile for the man that looks angry.
Guess what. He smiled back and stood a little straighter.
One smile (and maybe a little honesty in my gaze) for the teenage girl acting out with her friends.
She noticed. She smiled back. She stood a little straighter.

I'll be the first to admit that it's really hard to always feel nice.
People can be frustrating. Annoying.
Sometimes I just want to have my comfortable little box.
Or I feel fat and unattractive. (It's okay, we all have those days.)
But why does that affect how I treat others?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
(That word, neighbor, in the original text references someone completely opposite of yourself.)

I am implicitly commanded to love everyone.
Not be them, just represent the love God has given me.

So, if I only have a few seconds, and I may never see that person again, and their life is hard and painful...
how do I respond?
How do you respond?
A knee-jerk reaction will flicker across a face in seconds, and it can hurt someone, and we never have the chance to take it back.
So, rather than feeling repulsion or disgust, what if I looked at everyone as created by and loved by the Creator of all things?
How would that change how I treat everyone I ever meet?


  1. This post resonates with me. I had an "angel" encounter in a Wal*Mart at 10:30 at night with a woman from Pakistan who stopped to ask me about my kids. I had Joshua and Erika with me and we were on our way to far East Maine. I almost brushed her off and then stopped and listened and answered her question because after all, wasn't that Christ?

  2. It is also interesting the number of times it seems to be the cashier who needs a smile... It always strikes me how no matter how rough a day I may have had, if I take the time to really look at people and smile at them in passing, they do usually smile back. Sometimes, I think our world is too rushed to notice the present. We are so busy getting to the next thing that we do not enjoy what is going on in the here and now. It is simple, but takes thought, to simply notice the surroundings while walking from bus to campus, car to store, etc. As simple as noticing the color of the sky, presence or absence of breeze, sounds, sights, colors, smells. Sorry...I guess I'll stop my rambling. Your thoughtful post turned out to be very thought-provoking. :) Thank you for sharing!