It's simple: say the good thing you are thinking... a true story

The Simple Way of Jesus is made up of many small decisions to bless people. Here's a story from last week of how one blessing led to another, and two of us walked away marveling over how delicious God's kingdom is.

My friend Dave Pabalate and I had a lunch appointment last Friday, and we decided to eat at the Chick-fil-A on Madison by the 80 freeway. (I'm telling you which Chick-Fil-A so you can bless the Mason family, who owns the place, with some business.)

As we ordered our sandwiches, the young woman behind the counter asked what the name was for the order. "David," I replied. She was courteous, looked us in the eye and smiled. In today's customer service world, those qualities are not to be taken for granted.

One of the habits I have gotten into as a way of living out Jesus' Simple Way is to find out the name of a server and try to use it at least once. So I looked at her name tag. "Emma." As we walked away to get our drinks, I made eye contact and said, "Thanks, Emma!"

She replied cheerily, "You're welcome, Mr. David!"

I chuckled and said to Dave, "Now that's funny." He replied, "She's going to go far in life. She has the right qualities."

As we sat at our table waiting for our food, I told Dave about another practice I have developed in learning Jesus' Simple Way. I said, "You should tell Emma that you think she has the qualities to go far in life. That would encourage her." The point is, too often we have the opportunity to bless someone, and we just don't do it.

A few minutes later, Emma came by our table, and Dave said, "Hey Emma, we are both impressed with how you carry yourself and how you interacted with us when you took our order. We think you're going to go far in life." She smiled big and thanked us.

He went on. "Are you in school?"

"Yes. I'm in junior college, and I want to transfer to Azusa Pacific."

"Really! That's great. What are your plans?"

"I want to be a missionary."

"Wow! That's exciting." Dave then told her that we are both pastors and added that if there is anything we can do to support or help her, we would be more than happy to.

We talked a couple more minutes. Then I added, "Can I ask who your manager is? I would like to tell him or her what a great job you are doing." (This is another habit in my practice of Jesus' Simple Way.)

She replied, "Actually, my family owns this Chick-Fil-A." And that is when Dave and I became fans of the Chick-Fil-A owned by the Mason family on Madison by the 80. (Shameless plug #2.)

A couple minutes later she brought us each an ice cream cone just to say thank you for encouraging her. See? The Simple Way of Jesus really is delicious!

There are other things that added to the exchange of simple blessings that lunch hour. We ran into Emma's dad on our way out and got to tell him how impressed we were by the attitude and professionalism of his daughter. As a dad, I can't hear things like that enough times. After we left, Emma's dad walked into the restaurant and gave her a huge hug to tell her how proud he is of her.

So, telling Emma the good things we were thinking about her led to a whole chain reaction of little kingdom of God fireworks: an encouraging conversation with her, full hearts and ice cream for us, sharing our thoughts about her with her dad, and her dad hugging her with appreciation. The way of Jesus is all good. Who wouldn't want to live like this?

Here's the moral of the story. One element of the Simple Way of Jesus is to bless people. If a positive thought comes into your head about someone, verbalize it instead of keeping it to yourself. It's not rocket science, but it changes everyone's day, yours included.

I'll end with this thought about love and simplicity. Love -- biblical love -- is the simplest interaction two people can have. You simply serve someone. No strings. No complications. No agendas. That's the Simple Way of Jesus. And it really is delicious.


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