She noticed him, a Greeter in Guest Services, doing what he loved to do every week. Smiling. Saying hello to each guest as they walked through the doors. Getting down on one knee to give each child a high five. Giving great eye contact. Offering empathy by his presence.
She approached him along with her husband and son. After a quick hello, she created a little distance between herself and her family to speak with Jim. She needed to tell him something.
She started speaking with Jim. He turned his complete attention to her. He wanted to be fully present. She pointed to her son and said today is his 13th birthday. However, there is something he does not know that we will tell him this week. Jim was listening. She then pointed to her husband and their son and said this week we will have to tell him that his dad is dying. In fact, he will only live a few months. The cancer is back and it is aggressive.
Jim's heart broke. Here is a hurting wife and mom telling a complete stranger, a Greeter at the doors of a church, that while today they celebrate their son's birthday, they are also preparing to tell him devastating news. It didn't seem right.
The lady then asked Jim to prayer for them, especially their son. Her words were:
He had never seen this family before. She felt something by Jim just being there. What was it?
I wonder when people see you and me, would they say this about us:
Never underestimate what you do. Perhaps someone has been watching how you interact with people. The kindness in your voice. The empathy by your presence. The attention you give each person. Just maybe there will come that one moment they walk up to you and ask you to pray for them. Make you nervous? May it make us aware of how important our roles are in God's world. May it make us aware of the deep needs around us. Let us slow down enough to look into the eyes and hearts of people and not through them as if they are merely just another person. Every person has a story. What if you or me intersected with their story and became a prayer in their life?
I have tears in my eyes and hurt in my heart as I pray for this family today.