Monday, August 24, 2009

People Matter.

Last week I went to the grocery.

You know, I think God likes dealing with me in the grocery, and I am tremendously befuddled as to why. If it were up to me, I wouldn't even shop in that particular store AT ALL, because I have dear friends who own stores about an hour away.

An hour's drive is simply not that practical when it comes to buying a gallon of, say, Ben and Jerry's.

Not that I ever buy Ben and Jerry's or anything...

Back to the grocery. I was in quite the hurry as I normally am and I was speed-walking into the store, unneccessarily acting like shawty's-fire-burning-in-the-store, oh-oh, when I noticed something interesting.

My friend Mark was sitting out in front of the store on a little bench. He had a gallon of milk and a bunch of grocery bags sitting on the gournd next to his feet, and he was listening to a lady I knew to be one of his congregants.

She works at the grocery, and it appeared she was on her break. I think they were engrossed in an important conversation. I simply waved to them and walked into the store.

I still haven't quit thinking about that image: the milk sitting out on the curb in the heat. The groceries in the hot sun. My friend taking time to listen to someone who really needed it.

I thought about Mark again this weekend when I heard John Kaiser say:
"Ministry matters more than our convenience."

I was trying to decide what that meant. It's unfortunate but honestly, most of my days are spent speed-walking from one issue to the next mentally, and from one location to the next physically. If God put opportunities in front of me, would I have been able to stop and meet the immediate needs of the people that cross my path? Maybe it's not convenient to stop checking emails in order to chat with a student who needs it. But people matter, and it's worth it.

I am struggling with that question. But I never want to place a higher value on my time, resources, or even my gallon of milk (!) than I do on other people and their needs.

How are you doing this in your own life, or how are you struggling to with it?


Guatmama said...

Just that you are aware of this tells me you value others and their needs...

love you new look, but miss seeing your pretty face on the header!

Leslie said...

Excellent point, Lauren. I find myself in the same boat. I have a list of things I need to accomplish. And my list becomes more important than actual people standing in my world. I just keep telling myself that once I catch up with all the 'other stuff', I'll have all the time in the world for the people I care about. But we all know how faulty THAT logic is. Lord, help me to balance...and to prioritize on the fly...according to Your Will.

Lauren said...

Lauren this is so thoughtful and WONDERFUL!! Thank you so much for sharing that story -- I think I'll have this image stuck in my mind for awhile now too! :) It's a great reminder we all need... people matter!

sheraby said...

i LOVED this - gallon of milk. groceries on the ground. sun out i'm assuming.. and the only thing on his mind is the person in the midst of conversation with him. what a "spiritual spanking" (or so I like to call them).. really does put things into perspective - how Kingdom focused are we really?? You know, I heard something awesome the other day - our only reason for existence is to lead people to Christ, including ourselves. As we lead others to Christ (by loving on them) we ourselves are continually being led closer to Him as well. THAT is our reason for living. *ponders* ..what a thought! Even in the midst of grocery shopping - - we've gotta stop and think, what is the larger scope of things..
Thanks for the reminder love! -Sheryl