A lesson learned at the check-out counter

We were about to head out the door as a family to do the mundane task of grocery shopping.  Just as I was telling Little Mouse to get her shoes on, she said she wanted to color a picture for the cashier.  I was about to tell her we didn’t have time, and didn’t know the cashier, but instead I stopped.  “What could it hurt?” I thought.  Since we didn’t have time to color a new picture before leaving, I had her pick from the art work she had completed earlier in the day.  We folded it up and I had her write, “Thank you for working hard” on the outside.  Then, we headed out for the store.

Little Mouse was so excited and was on a mission.  She always made sure her picture was in a safe place so it wouldn’t get lost or crumpled.

As we neared the check-out counter, Little Mouse quickly grabbed her picture, and waited patiently for an opportunity to hand it to the cashier.  Once she was finished ringing up our purchases, Little Mouse reached out and said, “Here, this is for you!”  The young lady behind the counter was clearly surprised.  She read the note and opened the paper to see the picture.  She said, “Thank you” and Little Mouse ran off to find Daddy.

While paying for our groceries, the cashier couldn’t stop smiling, thanked me many more times and told me how sweet my daughter was.  It clearly made her day!

As I witnessed the exchange, I was so proud of my daughter, of her generous heart, and her desire to do something special even for someone she didn’t know.  But, I was also humbled by the fact that from the beginning I really thought the whole thing was silly and childish.  And then, I was convicted because I very rarely go out of my way to do something nice for a friend, let alone do something for someone I don’t know.

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God.  Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  But anyone who does  not love does not know God, for God is love.   God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal live through him.  This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God.  But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”  1 John 4:7-12 NLT

My daughter taught me an important lesson.  Something that came so naturally to her as a child – to show love.  I want to do that.  I want to love others – not just the people I know, but all people.  Why is it so difficult?

As we approach the season when we celebrate the coming of God’s Son to this earth, I hope we can all show a little love to those around us.  Because that is what He came to do!

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