Wednesday, February 25, 2009

They're Nice to Me Here

On one occasion I was speaking at a mission’s conference in Mississippi. Early on that Saturday morning I took the pastor and his son out to a Southern breakfast. As we entered the restaurant, I noticed an old gentleman sitting in the lounge area and asked the waitress is she would seat him before she seated us. She informed me that “Charlie just comes in and sits there all day,” and that he was not waiting for a seat.

After about an hour of great Southern food, bacon and eggs, biscuits and gravy, and grits, I went up front to pay while the pastor went around the restaurant saying hello to everybody. As I paid, I noticed the man still sitting there. I walked over and sat down and said, “Sir, I noticed that you have been here for quite awhile. Are you hungry? Could I buy you a meal?” Right away he smiled and said, “No, I have eaten already. I just come and sit here all day.” I asked, “Why?” He responded, “Well, my wife died several months ago and I just want to be around people and I come here and people are nice to me.”

I asked “Who is nice to you?” He said, “Well, everybody, but mainly the waitresses and workers here at the restaurant.” I began to share the Gospel with him and he said, “I am a believer, I just like to be around people because I am lonely and miss my wife.”

This was in the state of Mississippi and all the waitresses and servers were black. Soon, another waitress came in the door she saw Charlie, came over and gave him a hug and pat on the back and said, “Good morning Charlie, how are you?” After their exchange, she went to work. As she walked away, he said, “See? They are nice to me here.”

So dear friend, do people want to be around you all day simply because “you are nice to them?” Scripture says that even though kindness is a fruit of the Spirit, practice needs to be our position. Paul says in Colossians, So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience… (Colossians 3:12, nasb).

No comments: