Ministry at the Market

Now I know we really don't call our local grocery store the Market... but since alliteration is my favorite literary stylistic device, it worked well for the purpose at hand!  I was shopping at the Market (local grocery store), and as often happens, a friend just happened by the shredded cheese case as I arrived.
We gave each other a sweet hug, exchanged the normal, 
"Hello, it's been too long!  How are you?" 
 She gave a quick update on her side, then asked me, 
"And how are you all?"
I answered, "Good, we are good."

That could have and often would normally be the end of the conversation.  She would continue on through the frozen food trek, and my next stop:  cleaning supplies.  That's not how it went.

"Good?" she questioned, "Well, tell me about that."
She continued with a few specific, intentional questions.
Before I could even answer the first questions, her sweet smile exploded with, 
"Susan, can you and Frank join us for dinner tonight??
We sure do need to catch up!"

Who does that???  Just invites you to dinner... at their house... TONIGHT! 

Realizing dinner wasn't going to work that evening for us, she graciously offered a "rain check".  So our conversation lengthened for a few more moments as my friend listened with intensity, so that, she whispered, "I'll know just how to pray for your family."  

Before we left, she squeezed my hand and offered a reminder from the verse in Hebrews 10 that she'd just read this morning...  
"Remember, Susan, we, have to keep stirring each other up, encouraging each other, and meeting together!"

My daughters remind me all the time that if only I would utilize the new Click List for the grocery store, I would save a lot of time and probably a good bit of money, too.  They are right, I feel sure.  This day... I'm so thankful that my cart found its way to the shredded cheese section at just the perfect time.  "Ministry", whether at the market or the mall, happens all around us - jump in, the blessing in giving time and attention to others brings joy to the soul.

Can I challenge myself and you, friend! When we are in the grocery, or at the gas station, or at the coffee shop, or taking a walk in our neighborhood, my prayer will be, 

"Lord, let me see a friend who simply might need me to say, 
'You're good, well, tell me about that?'"

Thanks, Linda, for taking the time... 
And can we cash in on that rain check real soon??

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another... Hebrews 10:24-25a

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