The fix for a bad day

“Good morning, dear!” she said enthusiastically. Fresh-faced and pink-cheeked, she looked like a transplant from the farm in Idaho. Grinning. Eye contact. Focused and waiting for my response as if I were the only customer in the bustling cafe.

Not the typical greeting at Starbucks.

“What would you like today?” she added, then continued chatting with me while I fretted over which sandwich to get with my tall Blond Roast. “Oh, you’ll love that one,” she assured me about the Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon.

“May I have your name?”

Then, 30 seconds later: “OK, Miss Gloria, your breakfast is ready.”

I picked up my coffee and sandwich…amazed. She’d said my name twice, like I mattered. Looked at me, called me “dear,” and smiled directly into my face. I’d come into the cafe feeling down…lonely. I walked away feeling 180 degrees different.

I felt loved.

I wanted to say something to her. What? Thanks for being kind? A comment didn’t seem appropriate. It might embarrass her.

So I just left.

But her treatment of me set me on a different track for the day. I was ready to do my work. Be the best version of me I could be. I was able to believe God really did see me and love me. I could be an instrument of His love to others.

What sticks with me is how very little time and energy it took on her part to change me. Why aren’t we all that kind of force in the world more often?

 Why don’t I spontaneously and continuously help people feel loved?

 Even as I ask myself that question, I know the answer:

  • I’m too self-occupied to look people in the eye…see what’s really going on with them.
  • Some days the baggage of my past—failures and hurts—rears up and I let it burden me. I go into hiding.
  • Other times fears about the future poison my willingness to take risks.
  • On and on.

It’s a daily battle to be right here and now. To embrace the precious gift of life and the love God wants me to live within.

And. Be. His. Instrument.

It’s what I truly desire–don’t you? I need you to be God’s instrument to me. And I desperately want to be that to you.

Please hear me now: God is speaking to you, yes YOU, as you read these words. You are loved by Him. Remember Jesus. Recall God’s interventions in your life in the past. He is here right now reaching out to you.

Go. Be loved.

Be His instrument.

—–

photo credit: US Army Garrison Red Cloud – Casey @flickr.com (creative commons)

 

 

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