Jesus in a Kroger Parking Lot

After going to a new-to-me church this morning (I arrived a solid 45 minutes late although I intended to arrive 15 minutes early. Awkward. Their website with service times hasn’t been updated in a while. But they were gracious and it was lovely.), I stopped by Kroger on the way home to get tilapia and cilantro since I had a hardcore hankering for fish tacos.

One of the biggest continual prayers for my life is ever-increasing sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. I felt led to park rather far from the entrance, so I swung my blessing of a car into a spot on the right off an older red jeep-ish car. I noticed a man sitting in the passenger seat, but his gaze stayed fixed downward. So I went into the store.

After getting all I needed (and I took my time. I mean, I even called my mom in the spice aisle because I couldn’t recall if it was lemon-pepper spice or cumin that she uses to make tilapia so delectable. [It’s cumin FYI]), I headed back out to my car. As I started loading my groceries in the trunk, I man approaches me and politely asks if I’d be able to give his car a jump, gesturing to the red car parked right next to me.

“I sure can!” I said, quite enthusiastically. Borderline over-enthusiastically.

But, I couldn’t help it.

Since I asked the Lord to provide a car that I could use to bless others, this encounter was the first to answer that prayer.

While he grabbed his jumper cables and I popped my hood, I introduced myself. He did the same. Then we just started chatting away. He’s new to the area; moved to get a better school district for his 10-year-old. But things aren’t turning out as he expected and he plans to head back to his former city soon. I share how I’m also rather new to town and how I work for a missions organization. Which rather neatly segues into, “So, do you know Jesus?”

“Yes, ma’am. I do.”

“What’s your favorite thing about Jesus?” I ask this almost selfishly. Since everyone has a slightly different perspective of the Lord, my awe of Him can increase by hearing what others savor about Him.

“The fact that He says this is not the end. This life. Cause it’s pretty bad sometimes.”

“I love that your favorite things about Jesus is hope. Cause His hope is substantial.”

“Yeah, but I think about the world my kid is gonna grow up into. And all the things the Bible says will happen…”

“The beautiful thing about Jesus is He allows us to be free from fear. And let me tell you, He so delights in you that, right now, He sees it better for you to be down here making an impact than anywhere else.”

“I just…if I would’ve known ten years ago what the times would be like today, so much pain and hate, I would’ve been more…I mean, I don’t regret having my kid, but I would’ve considered it differently.”

“Yes, there’s so much brokenness. But you get to extend legacy to your kiddo. And show them that they are loved by you. By Jesus. And that they have power to make an impact in this world.”

By this time, his car engine was fully up and running, and he was getting teary eyed. So, he removed the jumper cables and thanked me for my time.

I thanked him for sharing his heart.

As I drove away, I couldn’t stop smiling. It’s already happening; me getting to be the hands and feet to this community with my car. And while, I may never see this man again, I trust and pray that it wasn’t just his car battery that got a spark of life in the Kroger parking lot this afternoon.

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