Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Extraordinary Ministry in Ordinary Places-Part 1
“When you touched my hand, and told me that you would be praying for me, I felt something. I think that when you touched me, I was healed. I think that you are a prophet.” These are the words uttered to me by a customer as she held my hand. I kind of jumped back at that comment. I assured her that I am not a prophet. Hearing that actually almost scared me.
These are the words uttered to me by a returning customer. I worked as an Assistant Manager at the second busiest Walgreen’s in the capital city of the second largest state in the United States.
This store was always hopping. One day, I was called to do a refund of a box of hair color for an elderly lady. The first part of the transaction involved finding out the reason that a customer needs a refund. This usually led to some interesting stories.
I asked the lady why she needed a refund. She explained to me that she had shopped at the store recently and had hurriedly grabbed the wrong color. She seemed to be distracted by something as she spoke. I smiled as I told her that I would be happy to complete the refund for her. So I began scanning the product as I entered the proper codes into the cash register. While I did this, she continued to talk.
She explained that she had been in a hurry because she was unusually stressed. She had been experiencing some health problems. Tomorrow, she would be having a biopsy. The deep lines in her forehead and brow revealed her anxiety as she conveyed her concern. I could hear announcements coming over the store speakers as we talked.
I completed the refund by counting out her money to her and asking her to sign the refund receipt. After she signed, I gently took her by the hand and told her that I would pray for her and I would lift her name up in prayer at our Wednesday night church service. The lines in her face seemed to smooth out at the promise of prayer. I thought that I saw a gleam of hope in her eye. I thanked her for her business and she thanked me for my concern as she began to exit the store.
I took her concern home and prayed for her as I did many of our customers who confided their concerns to me. This wasn’t an unusual occurrence. I found that sometimes all I had to do was to ask someone how they were doing, and if they had a worry or a concern, frequently they would share this concern. Sometimes, talking about a problem helps people to cope with something that may seem insurmountable. And for some people, sharing this information with a stranger is easier than sharing with a family member or friend. And then, some people are lonely and don’t have anyone to share concerns with.
I also lifted her name up in prayer at our Wednesday night service. I continued to pray for her along with others for several days.
The next week, I was at work and had to run a register because the store was very busy. I looked up to see my next customer and saw the same lady in my checkout lane. She had a smile on her face this time as I rang up her few sundries. She asked me if I remembered her and I said, “ Yes, of course I do! I did a refund for you last week!”
She said, “Well, do you remember that I told you that I was having a biopsy?”
I answered, “Yes I do.”
She talked hurriedly, energetically as she said, “It came out clear. There was no cancer! I am so relieved! You know, when you touched my hand, and told me that you would be praying for me, I felt something. I think that when you touched me, I was healed. I think that you are a prophet.”
I kind of jumped back at that last comment. I assured her that I am not a prophet. Hearing that actually almost scared me. All I did was to listen, touch and promise. Then I followed up my promise with prayer. I requested prayer for her at church. It was as simple as that.
I assured her that I was not a prophet, but that I had prayed for her. Sometimes a listening ear, a touch, a kind word and a prayer are all it takes to re-establish hope in the lives of others.
copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbins