I visited my friendly neighborhood pharmacy today, and God brought something back to me. Once upon a time, it used to just be “the neighborhood pharmacy”….lol. Let me explain.
My first recollection of going that pharmacy was some twenty something years ago. Most of the staff were friendly and welcoming, but there was one young lady however who apparently just did not take to me at all. Now I assure you, I did nothing to spur on her apparent resentment towards me but walk into the store. I would come in and pray that I did not have to approach her for assistance, but many times I had no choice. I would say good day and get a blank stare followed by a blunt “can I help you?” So many times, I just wanted to respond to that question by saying, ” I wish you didn’t have to, but yes you can”.
Things got so bad that at times she would spot me walking in and make a beeline for the office so that she would not have to attend to me.
Needless to say, I started dreading going to that pharmacy, but it was the most convenient one. I would put myself out of the way sometimes to avoid the uncomfortable feeling I got from her and go to another pharmacy. I even started reciprocating the looks and attitudes that I got from her when I decided to go there. Sad to say, this went on for a few years.
My thinking in this whole situation was, well I did nothing wrong, she’s the one who just decided to make me her pharmacy arch enemy, so there’s nothing I could really do to fix it. One day however, after listening to a message about love that I coincidentally preached, my thinking changed.
While listening to the words coming out of my own mouth, about love being kind and long suffering, and that love requires sacrifice and patience, I felt very convicted by the truth of God’s word. The Holy Spirit spoke to me, He told me that my Christianity was in word only and not in deed if I couldn’t put my pride aside and show that girl love in spite of her attitude towards me. He said that here was an opportunity to both talk and walk as Christ did.
Jesus is our greatest example of love, He loved us while we were His enemies.
Yeah, I did nothing to deserve the treatment given to me by her, but am I better than Jesus who is my master? I think not.
I decided to swallow my pride and be a child of God.
What followed after was remarkable. The next time I faced her, in spite of her tough exterior and blank stares, I smiled and asked, “How are you today?” I got no answer…lol. The next time I went back I did it again, “how are you today?” This time she seemed confused, but still did not answer me. The third time I did it, she responded, ” I’m okay” in a very blunt, matter of fact manner, but I felt great nevertheless. Little by little I saw that girl’s wall of anger and resentment broken down by my persistent kindness to her.
Today, as I enter that pharmacy, she smiles and greets me warmly.
It is as though we both forgot our beginnings.
I always think what would have happened if I never showed her love and kindness. Would she still be resentful to me today? I thank God that I will never know. I’m thankful that I put my pride aside and walked in love. There was initially a fear of rejection and I actually was rejected the first few times I reached out to her. But love goes beyond that. I’ve experienced God’s love towards me, and He has enabled me by His Spirit to love like He does. It’s challenging at times, but if God could love a wretch like me, I could love a wretch like you.