This morning, I was in line to purchase water bottles for an outreach on Memorial Day. My cart was full of crates of bottles, so I didn't move forward when the person in front of me moved up. An elderly man, carrying one item, stepped into the space between me and the woman.
"Excuse me, sir", I said as he turned to face me. "I am in line here".
"No you weren't. You weren't standing there", he replied.
"I was here", I replied.
"I'm terribly sorry. I'm blind in one eye, and my other eye is not great. I'll go back to the other line. I don't know how I missed you."
"No, it's okay", I said as I smiled. "You only have one item. Go for it."
"Thank you. What are all those water bottles for?" he asked as he handed his item to the cashier.
"We're passing them out for free in our community on Memorial Day," I explained.
Sliding his credit card in the scanner to pay for his items, he said "that's great. People should do more of that. Thanks for letting me in front of you. I am about to lose my driver's license, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I couldn't pass my eye exam."
"Well, I don't have a ton of time on my hands, but if you are stuck in an emergency, you could call me and I could see if I could give you a ride."
He seemed surprised. "Thank you. I think I could get my friends to help me in an emergency, but I do appreciate that. What kind of job do you have where you would have the time to give me a ride?"
"I'm a pastor of a new church here in the Hollywood/Hallandale area. I don't have a ton of time, but I'd make time if you got stuck, or could give me some notice."
(After the conversation, I wish I had simply said, "I'm a Christian" rather than "I'm a pastor". Hindsight is 20/20.)
"Well, thank you for the offer. I think I'll be okay, but I do appreciate it."
That whole interaction took maybe a minute and a half. But in that minute and a half, an elderly man who was facing a major transition in his life got an opportunity to see Christians, and Jesus, differently. It is really amazing the power we have been given.
#SentSummer starts tomorrow: