I don't know about your shopping experiences, but mine are typically dull and involve crossing paths with a store clerk who seems to hate their job. This is evidenced by their avoiding eye-contact and keeping their mouth shut as they go about the job. That is typical.
What is atypical is what happened to me yesterday when I was grocery shopping. At check-out, I was pleasantly greeted by a smiling face and asked how I was doing. This brought a smile to me too and we continued a pleasant, light conversation while she was checking out my groceries & I was putting the bags into my buggy.
As she was nearly finished, a voice spoke from the woman behind me in line saying, "Could you discontinue the personal visit? I wouldn't normally say anything, but this is too much. I would like to get through here today."
I could see the surprise and embarrassment on the store clerk's face and was kind of stunned myself -- as it was just pleasant chit-chat while she was scanning my things. It wasn't like the clerk was stopping her job to engage in some deep personal drama. Far from it.
I turned around and calmly said, "Well, I appreciate the friendliness, as what I usually see is someone who won't look me in the face or say anything at all."
The lady replied, "Well, the conversation slows you down and I would like to get through here today."
The clerk said nothing more, just totaled my bill and accepted my payment. Her spirit was crushed, that I could see. It made me angry that in just a brief moment, harsh words served to humiliate a person who was being pleasant and carrying out her job just fine.
Before leaving, I said to the clerk, "Thanks. I appreciate you."
Proverbs 15 talks about the harm done with the tongue and how words can crush a spirit. Let's smile today and encourage others who show simple kindness.
To God be the glory for all things †
* image found at fanpop.com