Today was a normal day. Today I slept past my alarm, today I poured myself a glass of tea and read a book for 2 hours straight, today I got myself dressed and went to work, today I spoke and interacted with people, today I laughed, today I cried, today I got angry, today I got discouraged. But today, is not like everyday. Because today I learned something that I did not learn yesterday, or the day before. Today I learned something for the first time. As I went about my very normal day, I had a strange feeling come over me. I felt as if there were a pair of eyes watching me from the shadows, and not in a disturbing or threatening sense, but I felt like someone was observing me. I felt someone was aware of my actions and my words and was surveying me. I looked around at my co workers and saw some typing away on the computer, others assisting customers, one organizing inventory; their daily routine. I saw people smiling, laughing, falling asleep in the waiting room…(nothing out of the ordinary). I considered why I had the odd sensation, then I swept it out of my mind and did not think of it again until much later.
About half way through my shift, as I helped customer by customer at the register, a lady came up and smiled at me, she began making small talk while I worked, she was kind and gentle, I had never seen her before in my life and I wasn’t sure if I would ever see her again, but we talked. After a few minutes, someone walked by her and touched her arm and said “how are you doing, ma’am?” she nodded and smiled sadly. As I gave her a questioning look she said, “my husband just died.” I grabbed her hand, looked into her eyes and told her I would pray for comfort for her, that she could sleep at night with peace. She turned and walked away with tears staining her cheeks. I thought to myself, what hope does she have of happiness? If she does not have God, what does she have? What if she looks for hope in everyone, in everything she sees? What if she says to herself, “maybe this person has something to offer me, to get me through my sorrow.” I don’t know. I don’t know her circumstances. I don’t even know the depth of her pain, for I have never experienced it.
Later, I thought to myself, maybe she does know God. Maybe she doesn’t. But I wonder still, I wonder if she saw the love of Christ within me, when she looked at me. Or, what if I had let her down? What if she saw me complain about little unimportant things a few minutes ago? What if when she had come up to the counter, I had considered her just another customer in my long line and rushed her along, not taking the time to look into her eyes. I wonder if anyone I pass at the store, or any customer, or any employee I work beside, see hope within my eyes, not because of me, but because I know Jesus.
Then, another thing happened, as I was talking to a young girl I know, I remember her words and they strike my soul. She said, “you know, I watch you, and you are an example to me. I think to myself, I want to be like you.” I won’t soon forget her words, for they flatter me and yet frighten me. What if I fall and that young girl is watching me? What if I lose my temper and say something I shouldn’t in front of my friend who is not saved? What will they think of me, or the relationship I claim to have with God?
I know you might be wondering how this all ties together, but it does. Because after I considered that, a flood of memories and moments in my life came into my mind, times when I worked as a bagger at Fry’s Food Store and helped countless amounts of customers with their groceries out to their car and how many conversations I held with those complete strangers. I thought of how I talked with a lady who was dying of cancer, and as I tightly hugged this woman I never met until then, I remember wondering if I could make a difference in her hurting world. I don’t know if she ever thought of me again a day in her life, but what if she had? I still think of moments where someone might have been watching me, even from a distance. I think of how many people I have worked with, people who saw me everyday, people who saw how I handle my frustrations on the job, or how I talked to others, how I lived. We, as Christians especially, are expected to be just that – Christ like. You don’t know who is looking. Maybe someone needs not you, but Christ within you. We are held to a standard, we are expected to illustrate goodness, grace and love. Although perfection is not expected of us (for it is impossible) we must think to ourselves, “who could be watching me right now?”
Let that very thought change us, as it changed me today. I learned something, and that was, the light within me was never met to be hidden, or concealed. What I have to offer, what God has given me, was not meant for me alone, but to be shared. And when I make mistakes and errors in my life, let the way I get back up and redeem myself be the encouragement and lesson to others.
Sara E Felty