Life’s Lessons

Thoughtful courtesy can speak for Jesus

I’ve been noticing the nice, thoughtful courtesies that seem to abound if we pay attention to what’s going on around us.

As you know, my roommate and I have been going on mission trips for a number of years. Many of these have involved construction work, some at ground level and some much higher than that.

I had always stayed at the top of the ladder to see that everyone made that step safely. Then, a few years ago in Nicaragua, as we were finishing the day’s work and went to the ladder I found another lady in my place. I moved to resume my usual position but she motioned me to the ladder. I had been replaced! “Hmmm,” I thought, “how did that happen?”

She was new to the team that year and was a whole lot younger than I. She also saw the need for everyone to make that step safely and simply did what needed to be done. I reluctantly relinquished my “top-of-the-ladder” position and we became good friends over the three or four years she was on the team.

Then, she contracted cancer and went on to heaven. When I arrive there, she will probably be right at the top of the ladder to see me safely take that first step just as she did.

By courtesies, I don’t mean just those things many of us do routinely like making space for another driver to get into traffic or holding a door for another. Yesterday was a good example.

I stopped at a Wendy’s for lunch on the way home from our weekly visit to a nursing home. Of course, Kelly was with me. At the counter, I placed my order for chili with onions and a cup of water, paid the bill and waited while the young lady assembled my lunch on a tray.

First, she filled a small, disposable bowl with water and placed it on the tray. I wondered when they had started serving water in a bowl. Were people ordering water which is free and then helping themselves to a soft drink? I’ve seen that done.

She put the chili and crackers on the tray and then finished the order by adding the cup of water I had requested. Light dawned and I realized she had taken care of Kelly even before filling my order.

How nice! I thanked her and she seemed genuinely surprised. It’s just a thoughtful thing they do there.

I finished my meal, cleaned up my area and picked up Kelly’s bowl. As I was going through my usual struggle to get my jacket on, I noticed another employee watching. She observed the coat struggle and offered to help. “Thanks, but I’ve got it now.”

Will I return to that Wendy’s? Oh, yes, of course! They are friendly and courteous beyond what is expected in that sort of business!

At church the other day, a gentleman also offered help with my coat! I appreciate that kind of help as I have a shoulder which doesn’t work quite like it should and sometimes a coat presents quite a struggle! Will I return there as I will to Wendy’s? Of course, but I would have anyway, as that is where I normally attend. Still, I was glad for the help offered.

I’m not saying all of these courtesies were witnesses for Jesus but just pointing out we don’t even have to step outside our comfort zone to extend the warm arm of friendship. Add a “God bless you” and you’ve turned that act of kindness into a testimony.

It’s actually pretty easy to witness for our Lord and Savior. Show someone His love today.

Thoughtful courtesy can speak for Jesus