Friday, February 27, 2009

Jack (aka Jesus) - Part 1

When I was in my late teens I was working at the concession stand of a local discount store. It was Black Friday and I was frantically trying to fill orders and check people out. Then, something interesting happened. The line that had been constantly long became shorter and shorter. I soon saw why. A man approached the counter who had been severely burned. He had no fingers and the bumps that were his thumbs were barely movable. One eye had been seared almost shut (not even sure had an eye on that side) and the other could only open halfway. He had open sores on his virtually-hairless head which were probably a result of running into things. He had no ears and had snot running out of the two holes where his nose used to be. His mouth had also been seared shut on one side, making his speech pretty much unintelligible. It was also very evident that he was homeless.

I'm sure we've all been in the situation where you meet someone that has been maimed or scarred in some way...you try not to look at the deformity so as not to make him or her self-conscious. With this man, people looked away quickly, put their arms around their children, and hustled the other direction. Nobody wanted to even stand in line with him. It rips my heart up to think about how this man must have felt. Where do you look? How do you avoid looking where you think you're not supposed to? What do you say? How do you act? These are questions that make people uncomfortable, and it seems so many people, Christians included, serve the god of comfort.

When I looked into this man's eye, I recognized him. It was Jesus. Suddenly, there was an overwhelming love that came over me and I just wanted to hug him, but I was behind the counter. So, I smiled and said, "Hi, what can I get for you." I treated him just like I treated everyone else. After I interpreted his order (from his pointing, grunting, and head nods/shakes) I got his food and drink and he handed me a bill. When I gave him his change, I put one hand under his hand and held it steady while I gave him the coins. He looked at me, stunned that I would touch him...especially on his stump. I smiled and said, "Have a great day!" As he was picking up his food and drink from the counter, he couldn't handle both, and he accidentally spilled his drink. Out of frustration he threw his food down as well and stormed out of the store. I immediately began cleaning up the mess and prayed for him under my breath. My supervisor came over and exclaimed, "You let me know when that man comes here, he's not allowed in this store!" In no uncertain terms I told her that I was going to serve anyone who is a paying customer and challenged her to fire me for that. She didn't.

Part 2 coming soon...

3 Comments:

At 2/27/2009, Blogger jel said...

hi mark,

is this a story ,

or something that happen to u?

 
At 2/27/2009, Blogger Erin @ T5M said...

Great story, my heart has melted to the floor and I'm at the edge of my seat!

-Erin

 
At 2/27/2009, Blogger Mark D said...

Jel, it really happened, and it is still very difficult to think about.

 

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