February 4th, 2011 at 7:00 am
The week before Christmas, I was in Kroger grabbing some groceries to make a few holiday treats. As I was in line, the noticed that the sacker at this register was a young man with down syndrome. We was diligently and carefully placing the groceries in bags for the man who was in front of me.
He wasn’t the fastest sacker, but he took so much care with the groceries. This didn’t matter to the man in front of me, for he just wanted to be done with his grocery shopping. His gruff manner flustered the young sacker, and soon he hung his head low as the man rushed out the door.
I was determined to help this young man have a better day. As I stepped up to the check out counter and the cashier started to scan my groceries, passing them to the young man with down syndrome, I gave him a large smile and said “thanks for your help.” He meticulously placed my groceries item by item in the paper bags.
He spoke to me in his slurred speech. Sure, it was a little hard to understand him, but we managed to have a decent conversation. The young man just needed to know someone noticed him and appreciated what he was doing. He soon had his shiny smile back on his face.
I said goodbye and began pushing my basket of groceries away from the counter and out to my car. Before I even took two steps away, the young man yelled “Ma’am, Ma’am!” As I turned around, he was ademately pointing to a shiny, silver bell sitting by the credit card machine. He kept pointing until I figured out I was suppose to ring the bell. As I struck the bell and we all heard the “ding,” the young man and the cashier cheered, celebrating the job he had just completed.
I couldn’t help but cheer too! My heart was filled with so much joy for getting to experience that victory with this special friend. I haven’t seen the young man since, but he definitely touched my heart that day.
This month, we are going to be talking about young men and woman with special needs just like this sacker at Kroger. So often, these individuals and their families are labeled difficult and different by society since they don’t fit into the norm. But this is not the way Christ sees them.
To Him, they are precious and valued individuals and families. And we, the church, the Christ followers, should see them the same way and offer a helping hand with this attitude.
During February, I hope you will journey with me as I take a look at what life is like for those with special needs and their families and chat with a few churches that are extremely active in giving the help, hope and encouragement they need.
Special needs boy, disabled boy, different boy…so many labels are attached to him by society confusing what he has with who he is. Full Story »
Before the Civil War, the average cost of a slave was about the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s currency. Today, a person can be purchased for about $90. And the number of slaves in our world today is much higher than it was at the height of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade years ago. Something must be done to change this dark reality.
Though their ministry is not specifically to women caught in trafficking, Brett and Emily Mills, founders of Jesus Said Love, have come across trafficking rings as they have been about caring for exotic dancers and strippers and sharing the love of Christ with them. Their belief is that Jesus loves all people, yes, even strippers and that the church should be reaching out to them out of love. Below is a story originally published in Oct. 2012 that shares about what God is doing through the faithful obedience to love the women He has placed in their lives.