Welcome to the El Camino Baptist Church blog. We wanted a place where our ministry leaders could share things that God has laid on their hearts. Please feel free to comment and join in the discussion as we share how God is moving through His church.Other places to find us on the web are our website, Youtube, and Facebook. You can also check out Hoss' music blog at hosshughes.com.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Value of People

Monday I went to the grocery store. My cashier was an attractive young man in his mid twenties named Stephen. The customer he was ringing up was about 4 feet tall and she looked just like the trolls in The Three Billy Goats Gruff storybook. She was hunched over and it looked like she hadn’t shaved her chin whiskers in a week. She even sounded like I imagined a troll sounded.

Stephen would scan an item, she’d gruffly snap, “How much is that?” Each time he kindly answered, and she either snapped, “I don’t want it. Put it back!” or with resignation in her voice say, “OK. I’ll take it.” I watched his face as this went on item after item. There wasn’t even a hint of irritation or frustration in his face, eyes or voice. At least ten minutes later he assisted her with her payment card and offered her help taking her groceries out. Then he turned and greeted me with a smile. I told him he was wonderful with her. He smiled into my eyes and said, “For those 10 minutes, she was the most important person in the world. She deserves excellent attention and care. It was my pleasure to offer her the best service I could.” I was taken aback. I was expecting him to say something about how he had learned to be patient with difficult customers or something along those lines. Turns out he didn’t need my encouragement. His joy was in serving.

The next day was a busy one for me at work, packed with meetings and decisions and details. I was struggling emotionally with an issue I didn’t know how to resolve. I went into Pastor Ron's office for guidance. He turned away from his computer, leaned forward toward me with a smile on his face, and listened with the same kind, patient, loving, ‘you are the most important person in the world to me’ look on his face even though I know I interrupted his important work and that he had at least a dozen very pressing things he needed to attend to. But at that moment, his joy was in serving me.

Wednesday in my quiet time with God, I had a lot on my heart. I needed God’s guidance. I needed His reassurance. I needed Him to take care of things I just didn’t know how to handle. As I sat there, I pictured Stephen and Pastor Ron’s faces and smiles. I pictured God turning in His throne to lean towards me and listen to me and guide me and offer comfort. At that moment I felt I was the most important person in the world to Him.

God used these two men to show me that I need to value people more, and to show me how much He values me. Pastor Ron keeps saying, “Ministry is relationship.” This troll thinks she is finally starting to get it!


  1. Diane, thank you for sharing this on the blog today, I was "over" blessed to read your post....I feel like I am the "troll" at God's throne sometimes, forever arguing with His perfect plan for my life, I do tell God to put it back "I don't want it" or "Okay, I will take that", I have lots to think about and you have brought a beautiful reminder to me.. I think you wrote this just for me today...may God bless you as you make your important decisions that are on your heart. thank you for sharing your amazing insite.
    And I agree, Our Pastor makes us all feel as if we are the most important person he has talked to that day, we are blessed to have him.

  2. Diane,

    This post was inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Liz :-)

  3. Diane,
    This warmed my heart and tingled my tear ducts! Thank you for sharing your experience. Just knowing that our Lord does "lean forward" and listen to our prayers...gives me shivers, too!
    Blessings & Merry CHRISTmas!