Monday, April 26, 2010

Live in love and let the world know why.

I met a woman while shopping tonight. Well, by "met" I mean she checked me out and bagged my items. And by "shopping" I mean... Ok I was at Wal-Mart.

Debra was her name, I wanted to ask if she shortened it from "Deborah" - to rid herself of the baggage that comes with unnecessary consonants. "That's very phonetic of you" I wanted to say. But I didn't.

On her vest, next to "Debra" was a much more prominent pin that spelled "JESUS" in jewels. Probably Bedazzled, if I had to guess. I wondered if management ever confronted her regarding the amount of real estate it claimed on her vest. I wondered what Debra would tell them if they had. But I suppose no one would mistakenly call her Jesus instead of Debra.

I was fourth or so in line and as I studied Debra I'd hear her salutation as she finished with each customer's process. "Blessings" she'd say to one. Or "have a blessed night" to another. As my turn approached I speculated about what she'd tell me, like a man entering a doctor's office or fortune teller's....tent.

"Maybe Debra knows." - was everything I could think. "She knows I lied at work today." or "Look at this white boy, down in the ghetto looking for deals on whey protein and power steering fluid." I'd not yet spoken a word to Debra, but I was desperate for her endorsement.

The register beeped a cold digital rhythm as she processed my goods. Some car stuff, some wine I'd bought for $7.24 just to make a statement (I'd seen the same bottle sell for $30.00 a day earlier.) the aforementioned whey protein and some various necessities. They scanned through and I broke the silence.

"How's your night going?" I asked, a hint of sheepishness cracked my lips.

"It's great." She said, all teeth and smile. "I'd never complain. Did you just come from the gym?" - I had indeed, and I was ecstatic that she had sent my conversational serve back over the net.

"It's a beautiful night" she continued. "That'll be $36.42."

I'd walked in 20 minutes earlier lamenting the fact that I was entering a Wal-Mart; even more disappointed in the fact that I even live near the low-price leader. If I'm honest, I felt superior to the situation; that my lot in life was certainly higher than congregating around pregnant teens and poor families and discount groceries.

But Debra, who pinned the name of Jesus to her breast as an announcement of identity; used every opportunity to speak Love into each pregnant teen and poor family that came through her line. I don't have to visit again to know that everybody who chooses her lane will receive the same benediction. In the best way possible (through love) it confronted me with the opportunities (or opportunities I miss) each day to speak love into someone's life. Not only love, but Love - in the name of Jesus. Straight up.

That's the goal of our lives isn't it? The great commission and all of that. To live in love, and let the world know why. There's some kind of perfection in every single minute and I want to live truly and lean into these minutes like favorite poems or tall, swaying trees.

I swiped my card and entered my PIN number. Debra handed me the receipt.

"Be blessed" she told my eyes.

And I was.