Be somebody you’d scream across the parking lot for

A short story:
My parents had a man cut their grass when I was a little girl. We did not have much money, and I still wonder about that, but he was our grass man. I grew up knowing this man but not knowing anything about him. He cut my grandma’s yard and her sister’s yard, and I’d grown up seeing him in his grass-cutting attire throughout the years. He had his own business, and I do not know how many yards he worked, but I know this man was more than a “grass man”. He is one of the best people I’ll ever know in my whole life. I do not know much about his personal life, but I do know that he is one of the kindest, warmest, with above-average customer service. He did not have a lawn mower, but I will never forget the image of him running across lawns with a weed wacker, cutting a yard with such precision in record time! He would run across the lawn while maintaining a conversation with a smile on his face! It did not matter if it was 108 degrees outside. He worked and smiled.

Years have passed since I have last seen him, but I did know that he had some cancer. I was just talking about him with my dad, wondering if anyone had heard from him or how he was doing within the last few weeks when I went to the grocery store to see him one aisle in the parking lot.

There was no way I was missing this opportunity because he had been in my heart, so I did what any normal person would do. I screamed his name at the top of my lungs and ran across the aisle! I saw him stop behind a truck and look around. To make sure he knew he wasn’t senile, I did it again, “MR. CJ!!! IT’S AIMEE (Last name)!!!!” I hadn’t seen him in years, but he looked the same as I’d remembered, and I told him I was just thinking of him. He asked about my grandma, and I told him she had passed away. He asked about my dad, and I said he was well and then told him I was getting married.

He hugged me when I first saw him and then put his arms out for a hug when we said goodbye. I cannot tell you how much this little encounter meant to me, but when I got in my car, it hit me that it doesn’t matter what you do in life but who you are. I know nothing about this man except how kind he is. He was always so soft-spoken, kind, and personable, with one of the best work ethics the world has ever seen. This man made his living cutting grass, but he was not just a “grass man”.

Sometimes (ok, many times lately), I stress about what I am supposed to be doing with my life. This man remembered I worked at the hospital so I told him it shut down and I moved to the school system. I told him I quit that and was now working two part-time jobs.

He said, “as long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing it doesn’t matter what you’re doing,” with a ‘Mr. C.J.’ smile on his face.

We never know the impact we have on people’s lives. We just have to let God’s light shine through us and be the person people WANT to shout out to in the parking lot as opposed to running away.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” – Colossians 3:17

How will you find them? What if they’re looking for you?

Following Jesus can be lonely at times because you no longer fit into society.  You no longer enjoy the things the world says will satisfy you and they cannot understand why you won’t do certain things.  I’m 31 years old and in the world’s eyes am possibly the most boring human being to ever exist.…

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