So many people need to be asked “How are you?”

See with your heart.

I was standing in a long line at a children’s toy store because I needed to buy a gift for my neighbors son’s birthday party. I couldn’t help but feel A little annoyed with how long the line was, and how slow it was moving. I’m not proud of my attitude, but I wasn’t in a real happy mood, waiting in a long line at a toy store. Finally, I got close to the front of the line, and just happened to notice the guy working at the cash register.

He was keeping his head down, not acknowledging any of the customers as they laid their purchases in front of him. Head down, he swiped the toys, put them in the bags, and never said a word. No, eye contact, No how are you? No have a nice day, No, sorry for the long line, he was just pretty much going through the motions of his job.

I thought to myself, wow, this is terrible customer service, someone should really say something to him, that’s not how you treat your customers. I’m a very complementary person when it comes to someone doing a good job, in fact, I even call over the manager to sing their praises, but this was less than praiseworthy.

I thought I might even be helping him, by mentioning to him, how he should make more of an effort to be pleasant and make more eye contact with his customers.  So, when it came my turn at the cash register, I lean in a little close, so not to embarrass him, and whispered “having a bad day??“ hoping that would somehow jolt him into being aware of his noticeable mood. And if in slow motion, he picked up his head and said, no I’m not and my mom is very sick and is in the hospital, and she might die.

It was as If a huge foot came crashing into my stomach, I felt weak in the knees and a horrible guilt immediately set in. “I’m soooo sorry to hear that.” My heart was so affected by what he said, I just froze. Shame on me, for not once thinking that perhaps this poor kid might be suffering in some way . He was hurting and trying to just cope at his job.

I walked around to him at the cash register, and with open arms, I hugged him, and he hugged me back with a brokenness and a surrender I’ve never felt before. “I said, I’m so sorry, I will pray for you and your momma.”

How could I easily forget that there is a hurting world out there? I need to see past what my eyes see , and look with my heart. So many people need to be asked “How are you?”

No, I don’t mean the “How are you?” that is just being polite, but the kind of question that wants to really hear how they are? Connecting with them, caring, and saying your life matters.

Submitted by Chris Anthony Lansdowne