Meeting Joe.

I was supposed to clean all day today.  But I shopped.  And had one of those spectacular God moments.

The border was delayed.  I have NEXUS people.  I should not have to wait to pay my toll.  But I did.

Took Trinity to get her ears pierced.  Wanted both girls working to do them, to get the whole thing over with (she never even whimpered though).  So, again, I had to wait.

Promised Trinity if she was good about getting her ears done, we would go on the merry go round.  And of course, the guy is off on his break.  Had to wait around 20 minutes.  More shopping.  I can handle more shopping….

Had to wait in line at Meijers.  And as I waited, I watched the man behind me tally his groceries.  Two dollars for hot dogs, another 2.50 for the meat, plus mushrooms, and tomatoes…  Hmm, more than he has on him.  And he puts down his back of chips.  Mind you, the amount on the counter was not a lot.  He held back his can of tomatoes.  I don’t live like this.  I really ought to be budget conscious.  Maybe that’s all he is, budget conscious.  And maybe he wasted his paycheck on smokes, or the casino.  But maybe he just lost his job.  Or maybe he stretched himself over the holidays…  I don’t know why he does not have a mastercard on him, or more cash.  It’s not my business.  But it seems that the Lord put it very clearly on my heart to make it my business, to at least pay for his groceries.

I told the cashier to add the man’s groceries behind me.  She doesn’t know we aren’t together, we’ve been chatting in line for the last few minutes.  She asks if I just want them bagged separately, and I say yes.  I take my time putting my bags in the cart, and he is totally unaware of the exchange between the cashier and myself.  So, I start to slowly depart, Trinity and groceries in the cart, and he tries to pay.  She lets him know they are already covered.  And he just looks confused.  I make eye contact and tell him “God bless.”  And walk away.  Because, after this point, I don’t know what to do.  I spent five minutes arguing in my head with the Lord about whether or not to even pay for the groceries before I went ahead, and now I really don’t know what to do….  But he walks beside me.  He tells me he was going to tell me how good my daughter was in the cart.  And he asks “Why did you do that??”  I suck with quick answers.  I tell him the Lord told me to.  He proceeds to ask me, as we head out, if there is anything he can do for me.  I say no, and wish him a very good day.

I pray as I drive.  I don’t know this man, but the Lord who made him does.  Perhaps he has a wife, a daughter, a nephew, a friend who even this week has shared the good news with him.  Maybe even now, his heart is soft towards the Lord, and perhaps this opens the door just a little bit…  God forgive my lack of a good answer, but God may it be enough.  And so I head for Burger King, and then home.  More waiting… they are so slow with my order…  And as I pull away to go home, there is the man I helped at Meijers.  I think to myself “weird coincidence” ; but no.  Joe, for that is his name, apologizes.  He hopes I have not been scared by him following me.  But, here is his email address.  And maybe, someday, I could email him and, as he says “explain yourself.”  He adds, “You brought me to tears.”  and I drive away, with my own composure shaken, and eyes glistening.

Is it really so easy to make an impact on another?  Is it nothing more than twenty random dollars, and a brief minute?

Explain myself he says…  Joe, I did it because even though I don’t know you, the God who made you knows you.  Even though I do not know why there was only $20 and change in your pocket today, God knows.  And even though I do not know what you think about our God, I know what He thinks of you.  And so I pray, Joe, that you might find a glimmer of our Savior’s face at Christmas time in my own.  I pray that you might be open to know the One who came as a gift for us, who has gifted me with forgiveness, and in turn has blessed me with an opportunity to gift a complete stranger.  You are no stranger to Jesus Joe…..


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Mar 15, 2010 @ 14:05:15

    wow, i obviously haven’t been here for a long time… December??? wow.

    Great post Nikk. wonderful story, wonderful transparency. fabulous God moment. 🙂


  2. mamamessy
    Mar 15, 2010 @ 15:32:08

    I was just going to say the same thing – and realized Su posted today too!! Strange!!!!! After all this time.

    Nikk this made me cry. Is that really what you wrote him? That’s so beautiful.

    Thanks for reminding me that even little tiny insignificant prompts are not insignificant because God is the one orchestrating my life.


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