A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about being nice. Over the weekend, I came up with some additional ways for kindness to be a ministry.
1. Putting your shopping cart in the shopping cart stall before driving off. There are few things that are more annoying to me than pulling up to a parking spot at my local grocer only to discover that a shopping cart has been left in the spot, making parking difficult. Even if the abandoned cart doesn’t affect my park, it still bothers me to see them left there.
I don’t have any scientific evidence, but I can assume, based on the frequency of seeing the unstalled carts, that Christians are just as guilty of this behavior. Look, I know, going grocery shopping can be stressful and maybe even exhausting. But how big of a deal is to walk 30 feet and deposit your cart? If you’re wearing a Christian t-shirt or have a Jesus fish on your car and you leave a cart, you may as well deny Jesus right then and there for the poor parking lot attendants.
2. Throwing away your trash at the end of your movie. Yesterday, at Stardust, a couple in front of us left their trash (which contained brought-in food in the form of a Sprite can and foreign candy) in the floor, causing some people on their row to trip on their way out. I know, I know, there are people who are “paid to clean up the theaters,” but I don’t think that gives us the privilege to leave our movie-viewing area a wreck. I think we should carry our gallon Coke containers and lampshade-sized buckets of popcorn to the trashcans ourselves and let the cleaner-uppers sweepvac up our popcorn remnants and dropped Nerds.
3. Don’t annoy the hostesses at the restaurant. This area is perhaps more personal than the first two — I used to be a host, so I know what this is like. It’s a busy night, you’ve got as many people on the wait list as you do in your dining area. As you’re frantically trying to balance the call-in orders, clearing the tables and updating your pager list, there are few things as frustrating as someone walking up to your desk and saying, “I see two tables open, why can’t we sit there?” Or, as you’re taking a person to a table and they say, “Oh, can we have a booth instead,” usually in a fakely sweet voice with a slightly embarrassed, but not really, smile. But worst of all is when someone gets frustrated or annoyed with you, the lowly host, because of a long wait, poor service or a perceived seating discrepancy.
Hosts get paid slightly above minimum wage, don’t run the kitchen and are more than likely in high school or not far removed. What good does it do to get angry or annoyed with them? What good does it do to “press your case” for a quicker or better table? None, none at all. So stop. Particularly stop when you’re wearing a shirt that says “To know Jesus and to make Him known.”
So, do you have any Labor Day weekend or recent experiences that fuel some “nice” ministry ideas? Share them here!