Living with a Community Mindset

My Friend At Meijer

I have a friend at Meijer.

She is employed there while working on her degree in Criminal Justice.

I get to see her in the checkout lane EVERY time I go. It’s one divine appointment after another.

It all started one day when I complimented her hair, I had just taken out Mya’s first extensions and my hair-care world was being rocked. How do women around the world have the time, commitment, and knowledge to do “this” over and over!? It seemed like I had just succeeded in doing everything wrong. (My own hair, mind you, is washed once a week “whether it needs it or not” with minimal brushing in between and occasionally curled…ONCE for the week!) Poor sweet Mya will one day cry at the photos of her lovely locks torn to shreds and dry as bone after I got those braids out

Mya's pretty braids before I ruined them!
Mya’s pretty braids before I ruined them!

My friend has some gorgeous dreads that I’m absolutely positive took days to put in. And she must care for them meticulously because they always look so smooth and glossy. “I can learn a few things from this girl,” I thought so I struck up conversation. I’ll admit she was a bit reserved at first. Who can blame her? I’m sure not everyone who checks out wants to hear your whole life story and your hair care techniques when they ask “How are ya?” But once I complimented her amazing hair, she smiled and opened right up. It is obviously something she prides herself in and she had a lot to say. By the time I left the store, I knew all her style secrets and a few tips from her experiences with her nieces and nephews too. I went straight home and washed, conditioned, and finger brushed (this is a HUGE help!) Mya’s hair. Then I made a super-secret, tried-and-true, best-loved recipe for a homemade daily oil spray that is divine. My new friend is a genius!

As luck would have it, I got to go back to the store just two days later. (I love those multiple-trips-in-a-row-weeks…NOT.) My friend was there and so was Mya this time, so I introduced them. Now they can be friends too. The world needs more of these friendships that start with nothing and yet continue on for the love of Jesus. I never feel the need to preach or leave a tract, but each time we chat I do leave behind a little bit of Jesus with a smile, a question, even a hug these days.

All my kids know my friend now and boy, are they better at showing Jesus’ love than anyone! They run up and say “hey” with no reservations. They high-five and smile sweetly and any person knows they really mean it. There’s no angle, no expectations to be fulfilled, we just want to be friends. I’m pretty sure my new friend will get a birthday party invite at some point, because kids are so good at loving fiercely. I want to be like that. I want to love my friends fiercely no matter how well I know them or what their story is. Now that I think of it, I may just invite her over for coffee. I want to know her more and I want to love her even better and someday, whether I get to tell her or not, she’ll know she encountered Jesus and I think she’ll like the Jesus she met.

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