Giving God's Light a Chance to Shine Through

It's clear that God wants us to be neighborly to everyone, whether we like them or not.

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Posted in , Oct 8, 2011

For Philip Zaleski, a cup of joe was a chink for God’s light to shine through.

Tony works behind the counter in one of our neighborhood luncheonettes. I usually say hello when I order my morning coffee, but he never does anything but grunt. So after a while I gave up and ignored him, placing my order with one of the other employees.

But I felt bad about giving Tony the cold shoulder. It seemed clear to me that God wants us to be neighborly toward everyone, whether we like them or not. So one day I gathered up my courage, went over to Tony and said, “Good morning.” No response.

“How’s it going?” Grunt.

“You know, Tony, you make great coffee.” Grunt.

So I decided to go for broke. “In fact, you make the best coffee in town. If it weren’t for you, I’d switch to tea.”

That did the trick. Tony turned to me, laughing, and said thanks. It didn’t cost me anything, and I earned not only that smile but also a friendly nod every time I go into the café.

Tony is still grumpy and we still don’t talk much. But something’s opened between us—a chink for God’s light to shine through.

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