3 “Wows” for Jamie

Jamie, Jamie, Jamie…Wow, Wow, Wow!  Occasionally someone goes so far beyond your expectations that all you can muster to say is, “Wow!” But you deserve three of them.

Yesterday, we (First Baptist Church, Bradenton) brought you an order for over 320 pairs of shoes to the Payless Shoe store you manage. Sure, we had given you a headsup a few days earlier. Sure, you were probably excited to receive this order. But, who knew you would turn it around so fast and so efficiently.

We left the order with you just before 1pm. You hinted you’d probably have it ready sometime this weekend. So the first “Wow” was earned when you called just four hours later to say you were done. Who does that? Well, apparently you do.

We arrived at the store to pick up the order. You had kept the order separated by girl and boy shoes, two separate carts. You had them lined up on the cart so that each shoe box was faced out so you could read the bar code with the register wand. You and your young employee shot through the ringing up and bagging of those 320 boxes like, “Yeah, this is normal.” And you paused to complete other customer’s purchases, as you should have, while using the only register in your store. So professional. So thorough. And you helped us load all those shoes in our vehicles. “Wow!”

But the biggest “Wow” goes to your graciousness. You knew the purpose of this order was to help us help local students at our partner school, Ballard Elementary. You had thought about how to help us with the cost. And the answer was through the BOGO sale going on. You could have ignored that for such a large order. You could have delayed completing the order to avoid giving us the discount. Instead, you brought it to our attention; we didn’t even notice that a sale was going on. You saved us over $1,200. Who does that? Jamie at Payless does.

Thank you, Jamie, for your efficiency, your courtesy, your heart, and your grace. God used you to “Wow” us yesterday. Keep “Wowing” your customers. Then may God bless you and show you His own “Wow!”

4 Ways to Let Them Walk Away

Speaking truth with grace and love can be hard business. Like it or not, it is a business we should all practice and work to improve our giving and receiving of it.

In chapter 26 of his book The Next Level, Scott Wilson talks about this business between Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10. 

“And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭10:17-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Here’s what Wilson wrote about Jesus’ interactions in this situation:

Jesus didn’t shake his fist at the man, and he didn’t warn him of impending doom if he didn’t repent. He simply spoke the truth with grace and love, and he let the man respond however he chose. Mark tells us the man was “very sad” to hear Jesus’ invitation, and he walked away. To him, money was more important than God’s favor. The man, though, wasn’t the only one who was sad that day. I’m sure Jesus felt sorrow as he watched him walk away.

If you’ve engaged in this business, you can relate to how Jesus possibly felt. When someone hears the truth but rejects it and walks away, the truth teller faces many possible reactions, emotions, and temptations. As Jesus modeled, the truth listener needs to be given the chance to walk away. For many truth tellers, this may be the roughest part of the business. Here are four ways for the truth teller to let the truth listener walk away:

  1. Be sad for them but refuse to follow them
  2. Love them but refuse to enable them
  3. Forgive them if necessary but refuse to receive repeated behaviors 
  4. Receive them if they return but refuse to ignore any relapsing behaviors

You may think of other boundaries to help. That’s good. This business is necessary. 

Yes, the listener may choose to walk away. That’s okay. Stay in business.