I was at a store yesterday waiting for a cashier. An employee yelled to the other employee, “You got a customer at the front!” She yelled back angrily, “They can wait!” I was kind of surprised. And honestly, a little annoyed as I thought it was pretty rude. As she came to the counter she was talking on her phone to a friend venting about how a cashier didn’t show up and she had to do everything. I started to feel bad for her, and noticed she was fully overwhelmed.
I told her I was so sorry that the person didn’t show up and how tough that must be (while she was still on the phone). Then she told her friend she had to go. Maybe when she saw I wasn’t mad but sympathetic she decided to get off the call? I told her how I had just been to a similar store to theirs, but left and came to this one because it was much cleaner and better organized. She let out a deep breath.
Then she apologized to me for venting in front of me on the phone. I told her that I had just finished venting with a friend about something too and that sometimes we just need to. She said she doesn’t usually do that in front of customers, but that she was left to unload all the frozen foods alone while still being the cashier and that she just couldn’t do it all. She said she was fixing to cry and I could see the tears coming. I told her she’s doing a great job and that I’d pray for her. She said, “Now that’s what I need. That will help. Thank you.” As the line grew longer behind me, I told her again, “As soon as I get in the car, I‘m going to pray for you.”
There are other times I’ve been in a similar situation and have stayed frustrated, not giving as much grace, but this time I was able to see the reward of giving grace. I really believe that is what God means when He says to love our neighbor. To see through the exterior to the heart. To give grace when it’s needed. What’s going on with them – are they broken, struggling? God longs to lift people up in their heartache and exhaustion.
While I’ve heard people talk often about wanting to do “big things for God”, I am convinced that in the Lord’s eyes, “small” things are big things. I think we can get caught up in thinking we have to do big deeds or have huge accomplishments to share God’s love, but as Mother Teresa says, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”
It’s sometimes in a smile or a few kind words that we share the love of Christ.
My response to the cashier was a “small thing”. But I believe the small things are big thing to God. How can we be people who spread God’s love and give grace in “small” ways? It doesn’t mean we can’t have expectations, but it does mean we ask the Spirit to lead us, and when we sense brokenness and someone crying out, that we take a moment to show them God’s love.
God gives us grace All. The. Time. Let’s do the same with those around us. Don’t underestimate how powerful “small” things can be to others and to the Lord.
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Jesus
In the kingdom of God, small things are big things. Go love the Lord, your family, and those around you in “small” ways today.