Sometimes the Lord speaks in a loud voice. As the Scriptures speak to us, we clearly hear His guidance and direction. There is no doubt in our minds.
Sometimes He speaks in a quiet whisper. Something spiritual we have stored up in the treasurehouse of our hearts, rekindles and whispers its message back to us.
In the Scriptures the Lord spoke through the wind, through a donkey and even has claimed if we won’t praise His Name the rocks and stones will cry out.
Yesterday, He spoke to me through a Target cashier.
I was shopping for….um…things I don’t want to buy when children are around, or anybody else, for that matter. They are private articles of clothing I am even too embarrassed to mention.
Friday morning seemed to be a good time to lurk in that aisle of humiliation and shop alone.
But I wasn’t alone. A teenage girl and her pimply boyfriend were in shopping for the same articles of clothing, but they weren’t embarrassed.
“They should be embarrassed,” I kept fuming to myself, as I strategically tried to be wherever they weren’t. I didn’t want to know what they were buying, I certainly didn’t want them to know what I was buying.
He was standing with his hands in his shorts, another mannerism I don’t understand in teenage boys, and they weren’t in a hurry to make their selection.
I found myself wanting to say something sarcastically convicting like, “How long have you been married?”
Instead, I fumed in my heart and despised the bold ways of this wicked generation. I am always appalled at the sins of this generation that are flaunted in my face daily. Things that we didn’t dare speak of, teens practice in public.
When I checked out, I unloaded to the cashier, a friendly woman my age I often choose.
“I finally figured out why I hate buying these things,” I began my rally while she scanned my items. “I can’t stand being in there and watching teenage girls bring their boyfriends into that department to help them buy stuff. It just makes me uncomfortable. It makess me want to take their pictures and show their parents what their kids were doing that day!”
When I took a breath in justification, she interjected with a soft smile, “Their parents probably don’t care. That’s probably why they are doing those types of things.”
“Yea, you’re right,” I added, basking in her agreement of my mortification. “It was just disgusting. This kid is back there with his hands in his pants, helping her pick out things. It was just gross.”
She continued feeding my fire, her soft smile accenting the truth, “In fact, I know it is because their parents aren’t spending time with them or taking them to church or anything like that.”
“I know! I agree. Their mothers probably don’t care.”
“You know,” she continued, still tapping with her rod of gentleness, “we really need to pray for them.”
I looked her full in the face. I knew I had been rebuked by the Lord. Rebuked in a quiet, gentle way, one that so tenderly replaced my thoughts with His.
My sail was no longer filled with the winds of righteous indignation. I asked, “Are you a Born-Again Christian, too?”
“Yes, I am. I just love Jesus so much!” With His name on her lips, her faced glowed with something I surmised was the Shekinah glory.
“You were right to remind me to pray,” I admitted spiritual defeat. “I was offended and didn’t even think to pray.”
“They really need prayer, all these people. They need prayer and they need Jesus.”
“I know, and I needed to be reminded. Thank you for the great word, sister. I appreciate the encouragement.”
One humble servant of the Lord, a cashier at Target, spoke to me with the voice of the Lord, humbled me and brought me back to the matter at hand. I viewed them only as wicked teenagers, I should have viewed them as lost souls that needed to be saved. I should have prayed. I should have given them a Gospel tract. I should have invited them to a Bible study. I should have done anything other than what I did, condemn them.
We know and love John 3:16. Sometimes I forget the verse right after that.
“God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
As I walked away, rejoicing that the Lord loves me enough to intervene in my life, and prayed for the teenagers I had condemned.
I wondered if Heaven was watching the activity between two Christians, who don’t even know each other by name, but had a few moments of spiritual fellowship that impacted each of their days. For those few moments our hearts were bound together in worship and praise for Jesus, and a desire for souls to be saved.
All because, today, God spoke to me through a Target cashier.