I stood in line to checkout, balancing packages and waiting my turn. As the line moved forward, I greeted the cashier with a hearty, “Good afternoon.” She responded with a grunt and that’s when I noticed her face studded with metal. Trying not to judge, I wondered why she’d chosen so many piercings.
She rang up my items one by one as I tried hard to think of things to talk with her about. My eye caught her name tag. It said her name was Rain. Interesting, I thought. This woman looked to be about 25. I didn’t think her parents were from my generation, so I asked about her name. “I like your name,” I began, “It’s so different. May I ask if it’s your first name or your middle name?” She looked up from bagging and said, “It’s not my name, it’s just one I identify with. My name is Kate.”
I became quiet for a moment, not knowing how to respond. I’d never encountered someone who’d chosen a name purely on its merits.
She continued working and I watched her countenance. I could tell, by her facial expressions as by her mannerisms, she didn’t enjoy her job and didn’t want to be there.
Trying my best to be cordial and kind, I offered to help her bag. She appreciated the offer and said she hated fighting with them. For several minutes I continued to watch her as I bagged my purchases.
Rain. She was definitely not a gentle, soft one. No, she was more of a brewing storm. As soon as that thought crossed my mind, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “Be gentle, she’s been wounded.” That’s when it clicked- all the piercings, the attitude, the demeanor/ they were all a hard, protective shell. I was sure, somewhere underneath, was a soft, moldable little girl yearning for love.
Thanking Rain for her help, I leaned forward and lightly touched her hand. Our eyes met for a brief second and I said, “It’ll be ok. He sees you.”
A tear rolled down her cheek and she quickly wiped it away. The next customer pushed forward, and I moved out of cue making a mental note to pray daily for Rain/Kate.
In the next few days, I’ll stop back in and visit Rain. This next time, I’m hoping to plant seeds of hope.
I was reminded we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. We need to see not only with our eyes but with our heart. There are so many walking wounded among us. They need Jesus. They may not even know it, but they do. It’s our job to offer them small doses whenever we can.
“I planted the seed,Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-9