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Kindness in the Wild

Updated: Aug 1, 2022



Do you ever stop and think about the way you treat others – strangers – out and about in the “real” world? Sometimes the closest a person will come to learning about God’s plan and promise for us for an eternity in heaven is simply the way that you treat them. You might need to read that again. Do we fully appreciate the magnitude of our everyday interactions? You are at the bank. At the grocery store. The nail or hair salon. The doctor’s office. How we treat others whether strangers, friends, coworkers, or family is absolutely a key component in our Christian walk.


Paul clearly understood this when he penned in II Corinthians 3:2-3, “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” In Matthew 5:16, Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”


How we act and treat others both inside and outside of that church building is extremely important. Years ago, during a college summer, I waited tables at a local restaurant. Now, I’ve always been pretty sensitive, which sometimes is good and sometimes, not so good. Anyway, one unfortunate thing that I learned during my time working in a restaurant was that “church people” who came in for Sunday lunch – immediately following their worship service I might add- were some of the WORST and most difficult customers of the week. Yes, as crazy as that sounds, it was true.


And the really sad thing is that, at least when I worked in the food and beverage industry, so many of those employees needed Jesus. I worked with some great people but the truth was that most of them were lost, and really had no desire to know Jesus, let alone darken the door of a church.


I will never forget the very worst experience I ever had in all my time of working with the public. It was a Sunday, right about the time that the local churches were letting out. I had a table of 12 adults who appeared to be difficult from the very beginning. Their requests ranged from special glasses to have their sodas from to wanting to split meals together but be served larger portions than allowed by the restaurant. This request to receive larger portions had apparently worked for them in the past, but the restaurant management had recently cracked down on the practice – for good reason. I explained the portions which would be served, and confirmed that they still only wanted one plate per every couple. I complied with all of their other special requests including the special heavy beer mugs for their sodas. I smiled and was friendly, and tried very hard to please them. However, when I delivered the exact food that they ordered, they were angry and wanted to speak to a manager. My manager confirmed their orders and also tried to explain the portions were correct per their one dinner for every two or three adults. I will never forget their rude behavior and ugly words, which is kind of crazy since I cannot remember much of yesterday or last week. Yet I remember standing in the restaurant kitchen wiping the tears from my eyes due to their hurtful attitudes. One of the kind kitchen cooks wanted to go out in the dining area and “take care of the situation.” It was pretty bad but I continued to serve them as best as I could, meeting every request that was allowed by management. Then, when this disgruntled church group finally left the large 12 seat table which they had occupied for well over an hour, I found a tip of 79 cents and a Bible tract from their local church. I was left so discouraged and disgusted by this ugly behavior. Unfortunately, all of the restaurant staff was aware of the situation by the time the table walked out, and one of the waiters actually ran into the parking lot to throw the coins at their car. While I was disappointed in the lack of tip money that I had earned, my heart was broken with the combination of the tip and the BIBLE TRACT which advertised their church right up the road. You see, I was a faithful Christian with no doubt about God and eternity and what we need to do to get there. But I worked with worldly non-Christians who really had no desire to know Jesus or much less to attend a church. In that moment, I even got it. This was their impression of a Christian, and frankly, who would want to be that? Disappointment did not describe it. I was crushed that fellow “Christians” – although not from any church affiliated with mine – would act in such a manner.


Sometimes, the story is different. I was recently with a friend having a pedicure and she just connected with the worker who was painting her toes. The employee was grieving, and my friend offered her kindness and support. My friend was busy and had places to be but instead of rushing away and trying not to “hear” the struggle, she came through in a big way. Sometimes I think we are just meant to cross paths with certain people, you know?


Friends, we have to be the bright light in this dark world. People need it so much. We live in a world of hurting, broken people. You never know when you might change someone’s day or even perhaps a person’s life. Everything we do is representative of Christ. We must show the world a better way of living.


Love,


Misty Reynolds




Listen to the Reclaiming Hope podcast with Misty & Ray


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