This week has been ridiculously long. And amidst all the craziness and dozens of places I needed to be at once, I felt like God was deliberately and intentionally slowing me down, making me stop.
How many people do you come in contact with on a daily basis?
Did you ever stop and think that every one of them has a story? A heart? Pain and hurts and struggles?
I sure didn’t.
It wasn’t until God *gently* hit me over the top of the head with this truth that I started absorbing the magnitude of it.
Yesterday morning I got to hear the stories of the Kroger cashiers, and hearing them pierced my heart. How often do I shrug off these people and not even appreciate their existence? But being as it took a solid 10 minutes to ring up my overflowing cart of groceries, I felt the prodding to talk to them and encourage them.
Let me just tell you, that didn’t come from me. Nothing in me wanted to try to talk and be friendly. But I begrudgingly started out trying to share a conversation with my checker and bagger, both of whom I see working every single Thursday when I go grocery shopping.
But it turns out, I was the one who got blessed.
I got to see their stories and hear their hearts in even those short ten minutes. I got to laugh with one of the most hilarious people I’ve ever met, who doesn’t let special needs get him down and instead focuses on making the days brighter for every single customer whose groceries he bags.
I got to hear about how the checker graduated with his Biology degree from a prestigious school, but is having trouble catching a break, or even getting his foot in the door in the medical field.
Everyone has a story, even the people I commonly overlook. And not only does it brighten their days to tell them, but it brightens mine to hear them. I don’t want to take all the beautiful stories around me for granted anymore. I want to listen and appreciate all the unique and amazing people that God has created.
Come to think of it, how many of the most well known Bible characters were first commonly overlooked?
David was the youngest son and a shepherd, yet he killed the Philistine giant, became Israel’s king, and is known as “a man after God’s own heart”
Moses was a baby that by royal decree should have been killed and was hidden away for the first three months of his life. He was too afraid to speak in front of people, yet he led hundreds of thousands of Israelites out of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land.
Mary was a young girl, the disciples were fishermen and tax collectors, the list goes on and on.
“But the last shall be first,” — Matthew 20:16a (HCSB)
Sometimes, the best stories things aren’t the ones broadcasted for the entire world to hear. Sometimes the people that will bless us the most are the ones we least expect.
Every single person has a beautiful story that has been and is continuing to be written by the King of Kings. I want to remember to start slowing down and listening more often.