“I died you know,” she told us.
“Oh?” I replied.
“Yes, I was giving birth to my son, he is around here somewhere,” and she looked around, we did not see him.
“I died and he survived. My husband was so distraught. It was 5 hours until I went through the tunnel of light to come back again,” she said.
“You were dead for 5 hours?” I incredulously asked her.
She was standing there right in front of us very much alive and well advanced in her life, her son apparently was now middle aged.
“You know what God said to me?” she asked.
I shook my head no.
What a thought, this day, today, is a day that has never happened before in the whole timespan of the planet and we have a choice as to how we will live it. What or who will we make a priority?
I heard was about a fellow who used to grace us with his presence at the Thrift Store and the Prayer Room. A lonely fellow, I believe something left him as some would call him a little “slow”, he was made fun of. Now elderly but looking for company and a listening ear. They found him dead in his apartment. He died alone. I am so saddened by this; it is my belief that no one should have to die alone.
Oh, I have heard many stories about angels and Jesus making an appearance that I do believe we are never really alone in the process but hearing that this man was found alone made me sad.
So many of the wonderful folks at the Thrift store took the time to talk to him, to help him in certain ways, I like to think he had found a “family” of sorts there and felt loved and accepted. I was so thankful that people took the time out of their day to share in this man’s life. We had no idea he was going to pass on so quickly, he was not “sick” that we knew of, what if we had pushed him aside and decided other things were more important at those times?
Businesses do have to operate but without customers you have no one to operate too. Is it always about business for you or do you appreciate a business that appreciates you? One that makes you feel special, welcome. I heard that a couple grocery stores are opening up more cashier checkouts. People it seems like to talk to real people.
I believe it was a John Maxwell book, but it might not be, could have been a leadership conference, but a story has stayed with me through the years:
A manager was rushing into work in the morning, almost a little late, up ahead he saw the "boss" and he picked up his step to get into his office by-passing all the other employees all around him.
The boss said, "Good morning."
The manager said, "Good morning, looks like I was almost late for work."
The boss looked at the manager and then around at all the employees settling in for the day, "Those are your work and you just walked passed them like they did not exhist. They will not care what you know until they know you care, you would be best to remember that," and he walked over to acknowledge another employee.
I have always told my employees, my bosses, maybe anyone who would listen, that the business will not be going to heaven, but the people will. How we treat people each and every day is the mission that God gave us, especially the employees He has sent us. If we focus on God's Kingdom first, and His righteousness; all the other things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Are you business minded or people minded?
In this age of AI where machines do a lot of the work instead of employees, I will go out of my way to give my business to a store that makes me feel special. I do not think I am alone in that by the sound of the grocery stores opening more "people friendly " check outs.
You never know you might be the only warm smile or friendly hello another person might get in a day.
I met another fellow who again would have been labelled “different”. He was the grass mower at a church. He told me the grass was his pride and joy, and the grass indeed was amazingly done. He said he mows it criss crossed each time so by the end of summer you could play a game of chess or checkers on it. I smiled as I looked over the lawn and saw the lines of squares. He went on to tell me that he had had 3 major strokes and that had stopped his life of travelling. He had lived all over the world, as he listed some of the countries and there was many, and then told me about some of his favorite places, I envied him.
This man, one we would label “different” then went on to tell me that he goes to the elderly’s homes during this hot weather and he cuts their lawns for free so they won’t have to. He refuses to take payment.
I marvelled after I met him that so many people would write this man off. He did not fit in, he was different, but in reality he was very much like Jesus. He was out in the full heat of the day, checking on the lawns in his community and on his neighbors well being.
This man was living his life very well, it is a new day and he was choosing how he wanted to live it, it will be said of him, “he loved well.” I pray the same can be said for me. Have I chosen to love well today?
It is a new day, a day that never was before and will not be again, how will you chose to live it and whom will you make a priority?