I worked at the food bank today — the first shift since our Christmas hamper day — and it was busy. So many people, all coming to replenish their shelves after the holidays. One couple came in and they were especially endearing. She has a bad hip and he has a bad back and we joked and kibitzed and then they made their way through the store. As they were leaving, I asked them if I could give them a hand out with their groceries.
I carried their box up the stairs and to their car in the parking lot. He popped the trunk, I offloaded their groceries, and then she asked me a question.
Do you go to this church?
No, I don’t. I go to Summerland Baptist. My husband is a pastor there.
See? I KNEW that you were a Christian. The joy of the Lord flows out of you. You shine.
I smiled, ducked my head, and wished them a great day.
As I walked down the stairs into the food bank, I had to stop. I took a deep breath and blinked back tears. Someone I had never met had given me one of the biggest compliments I had ever received.
Our society tells us that you need to be pretty and you need to be skinny and you need to be witty and you need to be Pin-worthy and you need to stir up controversy and you need to share the drama and that joy is kind of boring. But my life is joyful. I get to (Get to!) be married to Matthew and we have these three (crazy-inducing, yes, but) AMAZING children and are surrounded by a cloud of wonderful people. It’s hardly boring.
I get complimented on my mind, and it’s nice. I get complimented on my (God-given) beauty, and it’s also nice. But to have someone I’ve never met tell me that my joy shines through has to be one of the most encouraging compliments that my spirit has ever heard.