A drive around the parking lot

Inspired by true events 

It had been a season where the unknown was very present and Paris didn’t fully know what the next step was. She wanted to obey the Lord and honor Him, but in that season, she didn’t know what that looked like.

So where in this particular moment does this story find her at? Wal-Mart, on yet another errand.

As Paris hopped out of her car, she crossed her arms and ran into the store, trying to escape the brisk air. Frustrated, and feeling way to busy, she made her way like a woman on a mission into Wal-Mart.

As she entered, Paris looked to her left and saw a young girl, the greeter in her blue-smock vest, sitting on the floor with her knees up. Short dark hair with thick eye make-up, she had a desperation in her eyes. She was probably no more than 17 years old.

Paris smiled at her, “Hello” and carried on.

As was her usual mode of operation, Paris quickly filled her basket with what was on her list, barely noticing those around her. That’s how she often shopped – in her own little world.

But this day, God was about to interrupt her little world, because one of His daughters needed it.

Paris rang her things through the checkout and made her way, again, to the same doors she entered. This time, the young greeter was standing against the wall.

As Paris walked past her, she distinctly heard God speak to her.

Tell her she’s doing a good job.

God had rarely spoken so audibly to her, but this time it was very clear.

Paris spoke back. Yes, she spoke back to God.

“But God, she’s NOT doing a good job.” Hellllloooo God, haven’t you noticed?

Tell her she has a beautiful smile.

“Lord, I’m busy. That would be embarrassing.”

Paris fought with that nudge all the way to her car, bags in hand. She got into her sedan, buckled her seatbelt, and with white-knuckled fists on the steering wheel, she put her car in drive.

She drove around the parking lot, arguing with God.

Finally, she parked again.

“God, is this really You?”

If it meant freedom and answers in YOUR life you would do it in an instant. Now go tell her she has a beautiful smile.

Paris knew then she had no choice. A new boldness rose up inside of her as she walked back into Wal-Mart, this time, very much as a woman on a mission.

Paris walked directly over to the young girl, still standing by the wall.

“Hi, um, you don’t know me. My name is Paris. I just really felt like I was supposed to tell you that you have a beautiful smile. And that God loves you.”

Tears welled up in the young girls eyes.

“Thank you!!!”

That was all. Paris walked away, knowing that her unaware shopping trip had been turned into a missioned trip by God.  Whether she felt like she was eloquent or could’ve said more, she knew she had stepped out. She drove home in peace, knowing that this side of heaven, she may never know what those words meant to that young girl, or what it could’ve saved her from. Or perhaps it was a seed, for someone else to come water later on.  All Paris knew was, God said speak, and she had to speak.

Blogger’s Note:  This story, is a true story. I was Paris about 1.5 years ago. I had been facing a real spiritual wall in my life and God kept giving me opportunities to step outside of my own comfort zone to see the needs around me. It was like I was meeting a wall of opposition (spiritually speaking), yet I felt the grace and presence of God like never before. He needed to, and still is, bringing me outside of myself.

I believe that God will sometimes woo us out hard seasons of life by allowing us to see the needs of those around us. At least for me, that is how it seems. And He is continually showing me how I can practically, every day, just love and notice people.

Today I am forever grateful for the cross of Jesus, and how He never gives up on me. How He still wants to use me, even when I can be stubborn. And I’m grateful that he sets people in my life that I can impact – even if it takes a drive around the parking lot before I learn to obey.

Happy thanksgiving ya’ll!!