We met one evening at the grocery store. Her shopping cart was just inches from ours. We visited-as the electric scanner quietly hummed and chirped its way to the last of her few purchases. She smiled, teasing our children when they bounced into her once or twice as they did their best to wait patiently in line.
She was a small, little lady with kind eyes and calm hands. In her eighties, she has lived on a hill in Southwest Fort Worth all her life. A charter member at one of my neighborhoods Baptist churches, she remembers the days when her home was on the edge of civilization. Now she, like all of us who live here, marvels at all that traffic on Hulen Street. We were once on the fringe of town. Now you can hardly make a left hand turn.
Things change. Her husband died in the 70s. Hard to believe its been 20 years. Her eyes were soft, her voice quiet. When she spoke of her husband, she was inviting me into her world. He was a good man. He always took care of me. She mentioned he had owned a business that provided well enough for them, but Im certain thats not what she meant. She seemed surprised when I divulged my status as a member of the clergy. Its almost as if she was surprised that I had listened so much and talked so little a lesson for preachers.
...she was inviting me into her world.
Paper or plastic?
As her produce was bagged she thanked me for the visit. But the young boy was tardy to her groceries, so I insisted on carrying the few sacks to her car. We stood and visited a minute more before she maneuvered her immaculate four door sedan from its handicapped spot. Ill probably not see her again, unless we have another run in at Kroger
Did I preach to that sweet little lady that day?
You know I did. And the truth is, she preached to me too. Folks like those sermons best of all. And you preach that kind of sermon much better, and far more often than I do! Kindness preaches.
So preach it!