I did not cry when a man meanly refused to let me turn my cart so I could check out my items. Nor did I cry when the man turned his cart in front of mine and took my space. In fact, I only got teary inside Wal-Mart. But by the time I had walked to my car outside Wal-Mart, I was fully crying. The Lord has done such a mighty work inside my heart that I did not cry over the meanness of the man. I cried because the Lord had so filled my heart with His that I could not contain the love, the mercy, and the compassion I felt for the man. And then I prayed – pouring all the love I felt into prayers for a man I will probably never see again. God had turned my agitation, my resentment, and my anger into pure agape love.
It was as though I was looking through the eyes of God. Instead of seeing a man who had cut me off, a man who refused to smile, a man with a hard face and possibly a hard heart, I saw a man in phenomenal pain and a man who was most likely broken. I realized it was Father’s Day, and this man looked more alone than I could possibly imagine. He was shopping all by himself at a time most families were gathered together, going to church, preparing a special meal, playing golf with dad, etc.
When this man checked out his items, the cashier joked with him about how he shouldn’t go home and work on Father’s Day. The man did not crack a smile. And rather than hate him for being rude, I felt such a deep compassion for the pain he must have been in that I could have sobbed for hours in the parking lot. But instead I prayed.
And I thought of how I was alone also. My own father has chosen to not be in my life for many years now. And the Lord has given me a heart so full of love, forgiveness, and compassion for my father that I have prayed my heart out for him – and reached out to him year after year with unbridled love. No matter what I have not received that I so desire, I have continued to love.
I fall so far short in so many ways on such a daily basis that I cannot take an ounce of credit for this heart full of love that I have that enables me to pour out love to a man likely grieving his family and another man for whom I grieve. I give every ounce of glory to God for His heart that resides inside of me, and I thank God He works on me daily to let more of His love flow and to learn increasingly how to get my flesh under subjection that His love may truly flow.
Maybe most people don’t cry at Wal-Mart, but I’m glad I did. It reminded me once again of our world in dire need – and how a few minutes taken to breathe the Lord’s love out into a broken world can truly help make a difference.
I love you Jesus!