Let me tell you about a man I met at a Marc’s store in Brecksville, Ohio.
While checking out at the Customer Service counter, the man who was next to me heard me say that I was from New Jersey. He laughed out loud and commented, “How does someone from New Jersey know about Marc’s? This is a local store that we Ohioans like to shop at.” I responded that because I have family in the area, I was very familiar with the store. Then, we shared a few more comments and I went out to the car. When I got there, because I had stopped to look at something else on the shelf, the same man was already at his car, which was parked right next to the car I was driving.
That opened up an opportunity for a lengthy conversation. His situation as an unemployed technical manual writer left him struggling to make ends meet. He shared about his neighbor who is a truck driver (partly because I mentioned I have a brother who is considering driving trucks). He talked about his friends and family who are struggling also to make ends meet. The conversation soon turned to my “line of work” (as he put it) and so I shared about living overseas as a teacher of the Bible. He found that very intriguing. Then I asked him, “So, do you have a Bible? And have you ever read the Bible?” His answer still rings in my ear: “No. I don’t have one and never have read it.”
Wow! I thought, right here in “Christian America” (or post-Christian), a person who is blind to the truth of the Word of God! I offered a couple pieces of literature to him, which he agreed to take and read. And then I encouraged him to get a Bible and start reading it. “After all”, I said, “now that you have been forced into early retirement, it’s time you read the Owner’s Manual, the Bible, that God has given us. He is the One who made us and knows what it is that makes us the best we can be. It’s time to look into the Bible, because the Lord himself wants to show you how to know Him and how to be with Him for all eternity.”
May we as believers open our eyes to the fact that our very own neighbors and people we see every day are blinded to God’s love. He has left you and me here to demonstrate that love to them. Start today by showing it in simple ways, like talking to the person next to in the line at the grocery store.
After all, even people who shop at Marc’s (or Wal-Mart or Aldi’s or Save-a-Lot) need to know that there is a God who loves them too, even in tough times.
Remember how the Apostle Paul stated it:
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Cor. 5.14-15, ESV)
David L. Rogers, M.A. Min.