One thing was clear…

It wasn’t about her.

Listen, her job wasn’t fancy. My kids knew her as “the pretzel lady” at our local wholesale club. I knew her as the gentle soul whose kind eyes and generous smile comforted this weary mama every single time she humbly served me behind the counter.

Two soft pretzels – no butter – and a frozen ICEE split five ways was my sanity treat once a week when I could talk myself into making the trip out with so many littles. I’d be sweaty by the end of it all, but without fail she made it a risk worth taking.

I’ll never forget one especially challenging week. Four cranky ones were nuzzled into one tiny cart, not-so-patiently waiting for our turn to order. By the time we arrived to the front of the line, my cart-full had managed to create quite an embarrassing scene. With bruised pride and deep regret for even trying, I couldn’t even lift my eyes to meet hers. My voice trembled as I ordered. But before I could finish, she grabbed my hand, leaned in and tenderly whispered… “I’ve been there. Don’t give up. He gently leads those that have young.”

A hand outstretchedA compassionate heart. An encouraging word. 

She didn’t have to.

Her “job” was to serve me pretzels that day. The line was long. My lot was a nuisance. She had other things to do. But from behind that non-glamorous counter, she overlooked my mess and she lingered. She made sure that it wasn’t about her gain or comfort.  She saw a need, she resisted judgment, and she recognized an opportunity to love.

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” ~ Matthew 22

Across the street. In waiting rooms and conference rooms. Down grocery store aisles and on park benches in your town and mine. 

Why aren’t we loving?

{If you’re unable to see this video, you can view it here.}

The need…

People are broken, lost and weary, carrying burdens that we often can’t even see. They’re barely surviving, without hope, and looking for more than this world can provide.

Our natural tendency…

Oh Father, we’re so prideful. Quick to judge and assume they deserve the pit that they’ve found themselves in. We’re so resistant of the extra work. So in love with ourselves. So hesitant to extend mercy, even when so much mercy has been extended to us.

The opportunity…

Resist judgment. Give grace freely. Love our neighbors, even when they haven’t loved us first. Do more than just go to church and talk about Jesus and make ourselves comfortable and love ourselves really, really well. Instead, radically see and sacrifice and love others like Jesus.

Why aren’t we loving?

Maybe we’re too distracted on our phones and can’t be bothered. Maybe we’re too busy serving and loving ourselves. Maybe we’re wrapped up in debates and agendas and so in love with talking about all of the things we’re against. Or maybe we’ve forgotten where we came from, and just how extravagantly God first loved us.

Across the street. In waiting rooms and conference rooms. Down grocery store aisles and on park benches in your town and mine. What if we saw a need, resisted judgment, and recognized an opportunity to love?

And then what if we actually did it…

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another,

as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” ~ 1 Peter 4:10

At His feet,

*LET’S TALK: Will you boldly commit to our {Week 6} Challenge right now? Share your action plan in the comments below so that our team can encourage you and pray for you…

{Week 6} Challenge: Think of someone God has placed in your sphere of influence who needs practical help or encouragement this week. Write down details of how you can love them well through your sacrificial service to them, and then schedule a specific day and time to follow through with your idea.


{Week 6} Reading Plan:


{Week 6} Memory Verse:


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