A local furniture store has been advertising a HUGE, EVERYTHING MUST GO, SALE OF THE CENTURY, kind of sale since before Memorial Day weekend. They have big banners in the window and a fleet of 3 cars with big signs attached to the tops of them, that people drive in a caravan around town all day long.
And then there is Paul.
Paul is a young man, I would guess in his 20’s, who stands in front of the store with another sign that advertises the sale.
Every day on our way to and from work, we see Paul. And he is dancing and shaking his hips, and waving as people drive by.
He is a young man, holding a sign for his job. All day long, six days a week, he is out on the sidewalk holding his sign.
And Paul exudes JOY.
It has been HOT and then wet and rainy, stormy and windy all wrapped in one.
And yet, Paul is there waving and dancing and reminding me that we can find joy if we choose to in ANY circumstance.
I think of how often I come to my nice comfortable work space, a job that provides financially for our family, and I am unappreciative of the work I “have” to do and I forget that I “get” to work in the comfort of air conditioning, with chocolates and nice people.
I stop choosing joy and allow the stress to overwhelm me.
Yesterday I was driving by and saw him there again and felt very strongly that God was telling me I needed to stop.
But that is ridiculous, and creepy right?
And I stopped to get gas and asked God to tell me out loud if He really wanted me to stop and meet this man with the sign. (Let me just say that God doesn’t give into my demands…He lets the Holy Spirit do some heart work on me instead)
My heart was pounding and so I drove back to where he was. Except there were 2 cars blocking the driveway entrances…so I had no place to stop. (Excuses I know!)
But I felt like this was something I was supposed to do. So I voxed my closest prayer partners and told them this crazy story…so that I would be held accountable.
And then today at lunch Dominic mentioned the man with the sign and I told him that I felt like we needed to go and stop.
And after lunch we did just that.
We brought him a cold soda, a baggie of chocolates (which maybe wasn’t the smartest idea because it was super hot out) and a Choose Joy card with a $20 “tip”.
I asked him his name – it’s Paul if you hadn’t caught that before.
And I told him that we see him every day, dancing and waving and holding his sign, and that what he does matters.
He is bringing joy to people on the streets of Marshall. He is getting paid to hold a sign but he is doing that job in such a way that it makes a difference.
Maybe God wanted someone to tell him that he was doing just that.
I am so glad we stopped…that moment brought me such joy and a a renewed perspective that we ALL can make a difference – we just have to make the choice to choose joy. (<====Click to Tweet)
Is there someone in your life, someone you see on a regular basis that maybe needs to hear that what they do matters? Take the time today and tell them. Ask them their name and thank them for what they do.
Words can be life changing…what if what you say to encourage someone is JUST what they needed at that moment?
My hope is that Paul will know how much God loves him. It is just an honor to be a small part of sharing that love!
Photo Credit: jakerome