by Melissa Henderson @mimionlife
On Saturday, hubby and I visited the new neighborhood grocery store. The opening day has long been anticipated in our area. For months, coupons and advertisements (one even an invitation to an ice cream social) have filled our mailboxes. We all excitedly watched finishing touches of the construction completed with the installation of new traffic lights and landscaping.
Everyone was a-buzz. “When is the store opening? What is different about this store? Has anyone ever heard of this chain? Wonder what will happen to the other two grocery stores?”
Even though we love our other local markets, we looked forward to seeing what this new place would offer. When opening day arrived, we jumped in the car and headed over—along with the rest of the community.
The parking lot was full when we arrived. Store “hosts” were gathering carts to take back inside. A booth was set up outside as a place to sign up for the store rewards card. Alan and I took our place at the back of the line and waited for our turn.
Then amidst all the excitement and crowd, I saw him.
A car had just parked, and a woman exited the driver side. The passenger door opened and an elderly gentleman waited for her assistance. She placed a walker in front of him, and he grabbed both sides for balance and stood. They proceeded slowly across the parking lot and joined the rewards card line. Right behind us.
“What a beautiful day!” the man said to us. “Have you been here before? This is our first time.” He had the biggest grin on his face.
Turning to face him, I answered. “No, we haven’t been here. This is our first time, too.”
The kind gentleman continued speaking with a glowing smile. “Isn’t today beautiful? The sun is shining and the birds are singing. I sat on my back porch this morning and listened to the sounds of nature. What a glorious day!”
We continued chatting, until we both had our turn to fill out the forms. As we walked into the store, he ended our conversation with, “Have a wonderful day!” All the while continuing to smile.
Our interaction touched my heart. I may never see him again. On a day when anyone could have understandably been grouchy about the crowd or standing in line, this man showed me God’s love with his big smile and friendly conversation.
I wish I could say thank you to that elderly gentleman. He found joy while standing in line! With a walker! And he generously passed that joy along to me.
The Apostle Paul talked about how we should use our gifts. “There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:6-7 NASB). Our spiritual gifts are not for us. They are given for the benefit of those around us. And when we employ them toward that end, we parcel out hope.
Have you found unexpected joy today? Share a smile with someone. And make their day.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NIV
He Found Joy Standing in Line? thoughts on waiting from Melissa Henderson, @mimionlife, on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)
About the author: Melissa Henderson and her husband Alan live in coastal South Carolina. She was taught a love for reading and writing at an early age by her parents. Melissa continues writes Christian stories, articles, and devotionals. She also enjoys sharing inspirational messages on her blog at melissaghenderson.com.
Her first children’s book, Licky the Lizard, offers parents, grandparents, and educators a tale that teaches children a simple, yet important message: there is no need to fear any of God’s creatures because we are all created by Him—and He loves us all.
Join the conversation: Have you ever had an encounter that changed your day?