Sunday, August 13, 2006

As Simple As a 'Thank-You'

I first posted this experience a couple years ago... I thought about it this morning when I ran to the supermarket. Some people make Christianity so complicated, hard, boring and all about rules and memorizing stuff and not feeling blessed or having fun. But sometimes I think Christianity can be as simple as this:

When I was first-married, (long ago and far away) I attended a Women's Bible Study each Sunday night. Once while we shared prayer requests, "Jackie" told us about her job at our small town market.

She said that what happened to her the day before was typical. A woman with a full grocery cart had basically ordered Jackie to wheel it out to her car. While the sun blazed, Jackie unloaded the bags into the trunk in a neat row. The woman got into her car, slammed the door and barely missed hitting Jackie and the cart as she left the parking lot.

At that point of the story, Jackie looked up at us with tear-filled eyes and said, "Couldn't she have at least said, 'Thank-you for unloading my groceries'? Is that asking too much?"

I never forgot Jackie's story or her question. Twenty-six years later, I've nearly always looked into the eyes of those who bag my groceries and told them, "Thank-you." And with every single thanks, I've remembered Jackie's tears on that Sunday summer evening.

I guess this story brings up at least two points. One, that we never know what a lasting impact our words have on each other. Words are powerful, convicting things and can spur us into action. I'm glad Jackie shared those words that night. Thanking people who go out of their way for me has become a habit and a part of who I am.

One more point: The ungrateful woman from so long ago, if she is still alive, doesn't even realize that she also helped me. Because of her bad example, I vowed never to be like her.

But oh, how much better it is to inspire others by our good deeds!


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