The young man offering this undisputed advice was right. My billfold was stuffed and the zipper was caught on a corner of a receipt. It wasn’t opening.
I bet his billfold was crisply organized with no slips of paper peeking out.
He certainly appeared more put together than I was.
I had gone into the We-Are-Electronics store with a headache and a cell phone that wouldn’t send text messages.
When entering this land of gadgets, they introduced me (with a bit of fanfare), to Kyle. The store manager.
Everything about him looked…perfect.
Everything about me looked…not perfect.
Kyle was wearing a silk vest under his snappy blue suit and his shoes were so shiny I could see the reflection of my blue canvas Sketchers in them. His pants were creased, he didn’t have a hair out of place, and his posture was what I strive for.
My attire gave understanding to that silent prayer going through my head, “Oh please, Lord, don’t let me run into anyone I know today.” I was disheveled and harried. My hair hadn’t seen shampoo, Velcro rollers, or the curling iron for days. I was hoping I’d remembered to change out of my “wear these only at home” pants.
I strode into the store with an attitude that almost dared anyone of taking too much of my time. My focus was written on the inside of my eyeballs: get the phone fixed and get out. I wasn’t interested in chit chat. And no, I didn’t have time to take a survey.
Just as I was moving into my “Let’s get this done so I can move on to the rest of my list of things to do today” attitude, Kyle the Store Manager said to me, I really don’t know a lot about phones. They brought me in here to help fix the people problems. To turn things around. And you can guess what that means – I’m not always the most liked person that works here.
Well if that didn’t change everything. Bells and whistles and sirens started going off in my head as I considered what it must have felt like for him to work there.
He’s not a techie. He’s a 3-piece suit among trendy casual. And he was brought in to fix the people. God bless him.
Under that sharp attire, spiffy look, and hair that had received a whole lot of attention, was a heart that was feeling insecure, friendless, and overwhelmed. I knew what it was like. I had worked with people problems for 20+ years. I understood that world.
Lord, show me what my new friend, Kyle, needs this morning.
While Kyle checked my phone settings, got me a new SIM card, and reviewed the access availability in the area we lived, we talked about the challenges of working with people.
We also shared stories about John Deere and Massey Ferguson tractors and which was better. (I say John Deere.) The uniqueness of growing up in Small Town, USA. The joy of grandparents. And all the while, he’d tap on his hair to make sure it was still in place.
This store visit wasn’t about getting my phone fixed. It was about two people making a connection. Kyle needed a friendly conversation – someone who wouldn’t argue with him or leave him out because he was the boss. I needed the reminder that life is bigger and more important than my schedule and my time and my needs. People matter. Hearts matter. God placing us right where He wants us to be matters.
As I struggled to open my billfold to get my cash, Kyle’s comment made me smile. It was Comfortable. Friendly.
For 20 minutes we had a little break from what was hassling us. He’d been encouraged, I got my phone fixed, and we both laughed. It was a divine appointment.
And I almost missed the conversation.