I did not look like I belonged. She never treated me that way though.
After a harried wait for a haircut last Tuesday, I ran over to the mall to find something to wear to my great grandmother’s funeral. The previous weekend, I had spotted a cute black dress on my way out of the dressing room at Macy’s. There was a long line for the dressing room that Saturday, and I didn’t want to stand in it again. I should have just bought the dress and returned it if it didn’t fit. (Hindsight, you know?)
I found the rack again with no problem. Only trouble was my size was gone. Kae and I ventured into the Mall for a replacement dress. A few steps later, I entered a black-and-white-filled boutique.
The young store clerk greeted me, “How can I help you today?”
Now, I forgot to mention what I was wearing at the time. In addition to my haircut, which made my wet hair stick out all over the place, I had on an old t-shirt and my ripped jeans with tennis shoes and a sweatshirt. I had not really planned on shopping that day for a nice dress. I was hoping for a grab-and-go type of thing at Macy’s.
My appearance didn’t phase the young saleswoman. I told her what I needed, and within seconds, she had more than half a dozen items for me to try on.
Oh, she was good.
With amazing patience and flair, she offered helpful feedback on each item and presented appropriate accessories to go with each outfit, including the cutest red rose belt ever.
She never treated me as if I didn’t belong and was not phased when Kaelyn accidentally lost the TicTac from her mouth while admiring her candy on her tongue in the mirror. I should also mention that Kae shoved it back between her lips when I wasn’t looking. (Horror! I hate when people eat from the floor!)
Before too long, I had exactly what I needed and felt good about my purchase. Remarkable, considering that I stumbled in and was not feeling great about much that day.
The sales clerk took my dress to the cashier, directed me to the counter, and then disappeared. As I took the receipt, I looked for my helpful fashionista. She was nowhere to be found. I asked the cashier to thank the young girl who was helping me and please tell her she did a great job.
“Oh, you mean Maddie. Sure, I will tell her.”
As I stumbled my way around several states for the funeral and then back home again, I thought about Maddie. And I thought about Jesus.
As part of our weekly worship service each week, we pray a prayer of confession, and then pass words of peace to one another. Because God has reconciled Himself to us through Jesus, we can have peace.
It’s the next portion of the service that has me thinking. After the peace, each of makes our way up to the front to partake in communion. One by one, yet as a body of believers, we step forward.
Some days, I do this with confidence, probably only because somehow we managed to make it on time to church that day and none of us still has wet hair. Other days, it’s stumbling toward Jesus, feeling the residual effects of sin and brokenness and fighting the thoughts that I don’t belong or measure up.
But He bids me to come. He doesn’t bat an eye at me on the good days or the bad. He takes me as I am and offers me just what I need.
The body of Christ, broken for you. The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.
Steadfast peace for my stumbling. Words of life for my weary, tired mind. A little black dress and matching cardigan for my grieving soul.
Maddie may have just been doing her job last Tuesday. But it didn’t feel that way to me. Somehow she managed to be present with me in my current circumstances and provide just what I needed in that moment.
How I am grateful for Maddie. She gave me a glimpse of Jesus.