I had to go to the store yesterday to pick up a few needed items. I had gotten my shopping cart and as I was moving along the aisle, a young boy who looked to be about nine or ten years old came right at me, running at full speed. Right before he reached me, he looked right at me and said, “Excuse me mam.” I was so shocked but also delighted. I rarely encounter young people that are so intentionally polite these days. Someone had taught that young boy well. Throughout the store, as I was shopping, the workers spoke and asked if they could do anything to help me and again, I was shocked. Usually, I would have had to search for someone and when I found them, they almost never had a respectful attitude or were very knowledgeable. Seems like I was on a roll, and it felt fantastic!
I finally found all that I needed and got in line at the register. There was an elderly lady in front of me that had six children of various ages with her. My first thought was that they weren’t in school, as they all appeared to be of school age. They were not loud or acting out. She had them all in check. They helped her put all the items on the counter to be rung up and waited patiently during the process. When the lady went to swipe her card, something went terribly wrong, and she reached down and pulled up one bag of her items to be removed. I felt embarrassed for her and quietly told the cashier to place it on my bill. I did not do it to be seen, but I did question the Lord, “Do I pay the entire bill or just those items?” I immediately knew that I was only to pay for what was causing the problem. The lady got out her wallet, pulled out a twenty-dollar bill intending to pay for the items, and I quietly asked her if she would allow me to bless her. She said yes. She thanked me, went on her way and I went to my car.
The entire time in that store, there were so many teaching moments. I encountered several generations. The first was the young boy. It is so important to teach our children to be respectful. What they learn in those early years will stay with them if we take the time to teach them and live it out in front of them. The second thing was teaching our young adults that having a good work ethic is vitally important. Having a good work ethic starts in the home. I witnessed those young people in that store working and being respectful while doing it! And finally, I knew that love will always be available to help others. Sometimes the need is so apparent and sometimes it is hidden. But obedience is everything. When we do what we are prompted to do, it is never wasted. I didn’t know that woman’s circumstances. But God did.