The Guy on the Corner

Sunday mornings, there’s a guy on the corner of an intersection not far from my house.  His name is Scott.  And little by little, one red light at a time, we have become  friends. 
Scott sells the Sunday paper on that corner.  Every week.  Rain or shine.  Blistering heat or freezing cold, he is there.  On our way to church, over the course of the past year, we have brought him coffee when it’s cold and water when it’s hot and an umbrella when it’s pouring. He has given us Christmas cards and Halloween candy.   We try to tip big.  He smiles a lot.  Us,  too.
And in the 3 ½ minutes between stoplights, we have forged an unlikely friendship.   
He is always cheerful.   Always.  Standing on a street corner selling papers, the guy is cheerful!
He asks about my girls when someone is not in car.  I ask about his grandma who sends him a package each week.  We talk about the weather and about the Tampa Bay Bucaneers.  He asks about my couponing and I ask about the side jobs he does to help stretch his disability checks. 
Last week, he started talking about Kharma.   I sat through two whole cycles of the light to share a little of my story and to tell him more of my Jesus.   That He is real. And He is faithful. And He is enough. 
You know what’s funny?  I’ve learned a lot from Scott over the past year.  About faithfulness and cheerfulness and commitment to a thankless job.  And hopefully, he’s learned a little bit from me as well.   
In reading about Jesus, you don’t see him doing a whole lot of planned organized ministry.  He simply lived  life and as he went on his way, taking the time to touch the lives that were right in front him, unlikely companions or not. 
I want to do more of that, don’t you?  Sometimes it is hard to look beyond the valley of the shadow that  we are walking through to really ‘see’  the people we come across each day.  People who are going through their own stuff.   People who just may be desperate for a teeny tiny glimpse of Jesus.  And to know that He is real, and He is faithful, and He is enough.   I have found that in the sharing of my faith, my faith is increased. 
Isn’t it funny how that works?  And in reaching out to someone else, my own burdens seem just a little bit lighter.   How about you?  Is there a ‘guy on the corner’ in your life?  
Here are three simple ways you can reach out:
  1.  Store Clerks – I love, love, love chatting with the older clerks at Walmart. I feel sorry that they are past retirement age and still on their feet all day.   Try asking them this:  ‘Would you tell me about your first job?’   Postures change, tired faces become animated and there is always a smile!      
  2. Waitresses – I have never been a waitress and I so admire the skill it takes to juggle it all – especially during a dinnertime rush.    Often, we ask the waitress, ‘ We were just going to bless our meal, is there something we could pray about for you?’   You would be amazed at the response!   (another p.s. – don’t ask to pray and then stiff your server, please be a big tipper J  )   
  3. Lawn/Landscape guys- You see these guys every week- let’s take the time to learn their names and say thanks!   And for pete’s sake, offer a glass of cold water- especially if you live in Florida! 
Thank you Lord, for the testimony you have entrusted to us.   Give us your eyes to see the people who come across our paths each day.  Fill us with your compassion to reach out.   Give us boldness to share of your faithfulness whether we are on a platform or in the checkout line of the grocery store.   


Steph said…
LOVED your piece in P31 Woman...I've been a stingy giver and your words have inspired me! GREAT PIECE - GREAT HEART - GREAT GOD!