If only you had told them

I had a rather unpleasant experience at a home improvement store recently that left me upset and, quite honestly, angry. I’m visiting my home in Arizona for a month and planning for much-needed improvements on my permanent return in a few months. The plan was to visit some stores and get remodeling ideas. Since my husband is back in Germany, I was going to take photographs of items we hope to purchase and/or install. I’d visited one small business and decided to check out a huge chain that guarantees customer satisfaction.

I began taking photos and my daughter over heard some rather loud whispering about how customers weren’t allowed to take photos. I approached the supervisors clustered together and asked if there was a problem. I was told I wasn’t allowed to take photos. I explained what I was doing and why and was told they would need to call for approval. I asked them to do so.

As I waited, I heard a request over the PA system for security to call the Home Furnishings section. I was in the Home Furnishings section but decided I’d done nothing wrong and waited.

Ultimately, I was told I could take pictures only of specific items and would apparently need individual approval for each different type of item. It was obvious that I would get no assistance from the supervisors, and I didn’t have hours to spend. I left and immediately called the corporate offices. The person I talked to was apologetic when I told my story and impressed upon her that not only had I been treated rudely, but also that there were no signs posted telling me photography was prohibited. The explanation was that since September 11th, security measures prevented photography. Upon further conversation, I was again told I could take specific photos but there was a concern over proprietary issues.

As I thought about this later, I thought to myself … if only I’d been told.

And then I wondered how many folks might spend eternity separated from God because no one ever told them. That is the reason I do what I do. God, in His gracious mercy and love, has taught me so many things through difficult circumstances. My heart’s desire is to let others know that there is a light in the darkness of adversity.

Of course, I do know that there are times when people are told things and they refuse to listen. Yet, I wonder, do they refuse to listen or are they unequipped to follow the words they’ve heard. I think about the residents of New Orleans. They were told to evacuate. They knew Hurricane Katrina was a powerful storm. In other words, they had the information they needed. Unfortunately, for many, they didn’t have the means by which to follow the warnings to evacuate and many died.

We do have a responsibility to tell others about God’s love for them. But, we must look and see how each of us can help them fully understand. We can show them the path but sometimes, we must take their hands and walk with them.

I think of the millions of people who haven’t heard the truth of God’s words and I don’t want to stand before the Creator and hear Him say, “If only you had told them.

Blessings, Francine


    On 10:08 AM Cami said...

    Very convicting words, Francine. May God give each of us His wisdom to follow through, and follow through His way, not our own.


    Beautiful insight, Francine. My prayer is to find each day a way to share with others the good news of salvation, so that others may know Him.

    On 7:32 AM Francine said...

    Cami and Rhodi -- God does provide us so many opportunities to speak to others and I thank Him for people like you and your wonderful words of encouragement.

    On 8:19 AM Magdaleine said...

    Very good post, Francine! I wonder, will people feel as frustrated on judgment day as you did in that store because they are being judged for what they weren't told? And yet, Paul makes it clear in Romans 1 that ALL have some level of knowledge that many refuse to act on. Sometimes I refuse to act on what I know. We are all guilty. Thankfully, we have a merciful God and a Saviour.

    So there is a way out. To use your Katrina example, the means of evacuation has been provided but folks need to be pointed to the buses. Still, some refused to leave New Orleans even with the means provided. They didn't want to get on the bus.

    Just some rambling thoughts from someone who isn't thinking too clearly this morning.

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