Yesterday around 4:00PM I was hit by an afternoon crash, so I decided to head down to the corner convenient store for a refill of my favorite caffeinated beverage. Standing in the check-out line, I experienced an interaction between two people that awoke me in a more acute way than the chemicals in my cup could ever hope to do.
At first, I assumed it was two friends having a somewhat spirited disagreement. I tried not to listen at first, but as the volume continued to grow louder and more heated, it became clear that one guy was the store manager and the other guy was a customer… a very drunken customer who was being asked to leave the store. When he couldn’t talk any louder, the customer opened up a can of expletive language, but rather than backing down, the manager’s frustration escalated to rage.
At this point I was expecting the punches to fly, but instead – at the top of his lungs – the drunken man yelled, “LOVE ME!!!” To which the store manager immediately replied,“LOVE YOURSELF, AND GET OUT OF MY STORE!!!” Then then manager told one of the three cashiers who were giggling behind the counter to call the police.
Staring at my feet, I was reminded of Jesus’ call for us to be peacemakers and to love our neighbors… the angry store manager, the giggling cashiers, and of course, the drunken customer. And I walked away from them all wondering about the terrible inconvenience of this command.