“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)
Last time I shared the incident about God whispering to me to help a random couple tackle a fallen tree and how I missed the mark. Today, I want to share the rest of the story.
The very next day my kids and I went grocery shopping. Usually we go super early in the morning to get it done before the crowds hit. Since this particular week had been hard and they had little sleep, I chose to show love and let them sleep in, realizing that schedules are meant to be broken when love is given priority.
We had many places to go, so by the time we were checking out our major purchase at the Superstore, we were tired and hungry and just wanted to go home. There was a woman in front of us in the self-scan who was in a motorized cart. Normally I don’t say anything, but this time I wanted to be Jesus’ hands and feet without being prompted. I approached her politely and asked if she would let me bag her groceries.
Her response was not what I expected. “I bet you just don’t want to have to wait for me.” I wasn’t sure if she was kidding or truthful, so I replied, “I really just want to help you if you’ll let me.” She agreed and so I started bagging them as though I were bagging my own. I made sure to keep the bread from getting squashed, double bagged the heavy items, and tried to make it easier for her when she unloaded into her trunk and then again at home.
I attempted to add a little humor while explaining my motive and said, “You know, I’m being selfish by bagging your groceries for you. Yesterday I was given the opportunity to bless someone, and so I selfishly wanted another chance today.” However, from the funny look on her face, I think she still thought I was doing it so that she would leave quicker. (I guess I better stick to my day job and not try to join the comic circuit.)
God showed me something else through this experience. It doesn’t matter the response of the individuals that you’re blessing. God sees our heart. He knows our intentions. He knew that yesterday my intention was to stall because I was lazy and didn’t really feel like expending energy even though He specifically told me to. Today, my intention was truly to bless the woman even though she thought my ulterior motive was to get her through the checkout lane faster. I was thanked for my lousy attitude and blown off for my good intention.
You know what? It doesn’t matter. God loves each and every one of us in the above scenario the same. He used my lousy attempt to obey for His glory as much as He used my unprompted attempt at the grocery store. He saw my heart and He knows that I’ll be much quicker next time to look for and attempt to bless others. To show you the change is real, as soon as I stop typing, I’m getting up and going out to help weed our garden, choosing to bless my husband simply because it’s something that would please God. And you know what? I’m finding that blesses me even more.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014