This post is part of my “stories” series. In this series, I share stories of how people live their lives in response to the gospel and as a demonstration of God’s love in order to teach us and to provide an example to provoke us to love and good works. (See “stories: A New Series” for more information about this series.)
Ready to give my final sales pitch of the day, I walked up to the long driveway hoping I could pull the day out of the dumpster and set one good lead. The door was open, so I knocked on the old brown screen door.
An older man come to the door asking, â€œwho are you?â€
â€œMy name is Joe, how are you today sir?â€
â€œNot so good.â€ he said with a surprising honesty. â€œMy wife of 70 years just died on August 8th. We celebrated our 70th anniversary on July 8th.â€
The man suddenly seemed older and more tired then when he first appeared at the door.
â€œI am sorry to hear of your loss.â€ I said.
The man asked, â€œWhat are you selling?â€
I had a sudden and keen awareness that what I was selling had no meaning compared to the loss and grief this man was experiencing. â€œNothing of importance, sir.â€ I paused for a moment and added, â€œMay I pray for you instead?â€
â€œYes, please come in.â€
The old man seemed glad for the company and walked with a bit more energy as he led me into his living room. We sat and talked for quite some time as my partner waited outside wondering where I had gone.
Gene was a kindly gentleman. He talked about his wife, his kids and how his life had changed since the death of his beloved wife. More than once, Geneâ€™s eyes filled with tears as he looked off into the distance at nothing and contemplated moving on without Helen.
â€œI need to go, but can I pray with you now?â€ I asked.
Gene gladly accepted. I walked to his chair and took his cold hand in mine. I uttered what few words would come to mindâ€¦ words of healingâ€¦ words of hopeâ€¦ words of Jesusâ€™ love for Gene and his departed wife Helen.
My conversation with Gene reminded me that there are many things more important than setting one more lead and earning a few more dollars.
What are the most valuable things in your life?
Do your daily choices reflect your values?