This world is difficult. We all need a little encouragement from time to time. We find ourselves exhausted, ready to call it quits (or at least survive until bedtime!).
My husband and I encountered this scenario the other day in a Lowe’s employee named Phillip. We were shopping for appliances and Lowe’s, in all of their wisdom, had one employee working the appliance department…on Sunday…during a 40% of sale. It’s easy to say we were not the first ones needing assistance that day.
When we first arrived in the appliance department, there were several others already shopping. We didn’t need help right away so we walked around price comparing and deciding which appliances we wanted. All the while, Phillip was helping a family and you could tell the transaction was not going smoothly. I don’t believe anyone was at fault, except maybe the systems Lowe’s had established.
We finally decided on the products we wanted and began to look around for an employee. Finally, someone happened to walk by the department and we flagged them down. They did our best to help us but kept tying to call Phillip as they were not well versed in appliances.
The girl apologized over and over that she couldn’t get ahold of the department employee (Phillip). I commented that he had looked exhausted and probably abandoned the rest of his shift. But just a few minutes later he appeared.
And the rest of this story is the part that I love!
Phillip was in fact looking exhausted. But you know what? By the time we finished our transaction he was laughing and smiling.
Why? How? It’s really very simple. My husband looked like Jesus. No, he didn’t grow long hair or quickly don sandals. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure the name of Jesus or God ever came up in the conversation. Rather, he looked like Jesus because he demonstrated the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.
Our transaction took some time. We were purchasing a scratch and dent dryer and had to wait for a manager to adjust the price. Code 99 rang out over the store intercom multiple times before anyone ever showed. And while we waited, my husband simply talked and laughed with Phillip. He didn’t demand he do things faster. He didn’t pester him or yell about how the situation was playing out. He just displayed the fruit.
And when we left there was a peace on Phillip’s face that hadn’t been there before. Instead of making his day worse, we had made it better.
As we walked out of the store I told my husband how proud I was of him (and that his story would probably make this blog!). You see, those fruits don’t come easy for him but God has been working and moving. Tomorrow he may struggle, but for today, the victory belonged to God!
Being Jesus doesn’t always mean preaching the gospel. Being Jesus doesn’t always mean inviting someone to church. Being Jesus simply means loving. Loving the least, the broken, the tired and the weary.
I don’t think Phillip got saved on Sunday but I do believe a seed was planted. I pray we left him wondering what made us so different from the norm and that as he wonders God will move in and whisper His name and that seed will grow into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.