It was a small place – Joe’s Stand – a little white house, located on busy State Street of Murray, Utah, converted into a small grocery store. I remember the unfinished wood floors. The wooden screen door, pulled by a long spring, squeaked before it slammed noisily prompting a frown from my mother when I didn’t catch the door as I entered. The aisles were narrow allowing only one small shopping cart to pass at a time. The shelves were painted white and deep enough that I, then a young child, couldn’t reach to the back to get a box of my favorite cereal.
I remember the unpainted walls, the smell of dust, and a large pile of boxes thrown haphazardly in the back of the store. We didn’t carry our groceries home in a paper bag with the store’s name printed on its side. Our groceries were packed in those cardboard boxes. There didn’t seem to be much of a selection at Joe’s Stand.
Sometimes I have wondered why we shopped there! But week after week, we went to Joe’s Stand for groceries, passing several large grocery supermarkets on our way there.
I think I know why we shopped there. We knew the owners. They personally invited us to shop there. Every time we went there, we were greeted with a smile . . . and they remembered our names. As we shopped, they asked how things were going and what was new in our lives. When we left, they helped carry our groceries to the car and added the special touches only friends can add.
There was another reason. Friendship is a two-way street. We wanted to support our friends by supporting their small business.
Could it be . . . that God’s design for the church offers the same?
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
- Why is a personal touch important in a church?
- Is the church a place where we go to be served . . . or is it a place where we serve others? Why?
- Who might you reach out to this week to offer a personal hand of friendship? Why not send them a card, a text, an email, or a phone call?
Pastor Tim Lindeman