Sticking Out All Over by Sharon Beachy
I was in a hurry that day and my grocery list was long. I'm not fond of shopping in the first place. My shopping trips have three stages. 1. Get in. 2. Get what you need. 3. Get out. That day I was well into the second stage. Rushing up and down aisles. Dodging other shoppers. Focused.
I was hurrying past the winter coats when I heard the voice. "Smile!"
I whirled to see an old man standing between the racks. "Smile!" he commanded again, following up with one of his own.
I grinned weakly.
"There. That's better." He smiled again and hobbled off among the coats.
I continued on my way, but at a slower rate. Did I really look unhappy? I wondered. I wasn't. I was just in a hurry.
But you were ignoring others and appearing rude in your rush. What kind of witness is that? my conscience challenged me.
I knew it was true. I also knew what my husband was going to say.
It wasn't much. Only, "People are watching us more than we think." Then he grinned at me. "I know how you shop. But remember, it's an opportunity to be a witness for Christ."
He can remember that much better than I can. He strolls through a store. When he meets someone he always yields the right of way. He waits patiently in long lines, and if the person behind him has only a few items and he has a whole cart full, he tells them to go ahead. Others ask him to help them find what they need (I guess they can see he's the kind of person who has time for that). And he smiles at people.
A few days after my shopping trip, a group of church sisters were together. One told a story about an evangelist who was approached by a small boy after a church service. The boy wanted to know how he could be saved. The preacher explained how to repent from sin and invite Jesus into his heart.
"But sir, I can't," the little boy exclaimed. "I'm so small and Jesus is so big, He would just stick out all over!"
"That's the whole point, Son," the evangelist said.
We all agreed. If those we meet cannot see Him "sticking out all over," something is wrong.
Another friend shared an incident that had happened to her and her sisters the day before. A man came up to them in a store and asked them several questions. before he left, he said, "You know, I get goose bumps just talking with you. I can feel the presence of God right here."
That was Jesus "sticking out all over," I thought. I've done a lot of thinking since then. God knows best what impressions we are leaving on others. Whether we do things consciously or unconsciously, those little things matter. Things like holding the door for someone. Letting others go first. Helping an older lady carry her purchases. Saying thank you. Even something as small as a smile.
I highly recommend Keepers at Home. It is an Amish/Mennonite publication, but it is full of many helpful articles on keeping a home, cooking, herbs, etc. and all is put in the light of scripture. It is a quarterly magazine. It is $14 for 1 year or 2 years for $26 (prices are different for Canada). You can request a subscription at Keepers at Home, 2673 TR 421, Sugarcreek, OH 44681 or by calling 1-800-852-4482,