Blog - Embodying Truth
Christ at Work in a BakeryMonday, January 25, 2010
Eugene Peterson’s book title assures us that Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. Apparently those places include bakeries. A close friend of ours (she prefers to remain anonymous) told us how Christ met her and a co-worker in the bakery department of a grocery store. Here, in her own words, is her story.
“For me, working with other workers and a manager over me was new. Little did I know that you are needed by the manager, but not necessarily wanted by the employees. I also learned fellow employees don't want you to work faster or better than they and they don't want to babysit you either. So, any type of training from my new fellow workers would be of minimal help, unless our manager was standing right there.
“It didn't take long to recognize that Cathy was the alpha dog of the pack. Her mood, as she walked in the door, would set the pace for the whole work team. I felt so inadequate and alone by the end of the week I asked The Lord, 'Why am I here? I must have misunderstood you Lord, because this is the meanest person ever created and I will be working side by side with Cathy and the others forever.' As the others talked around me, I would silently talk to God while I worked, asking Him to not let my foot be moved or say anything that would offend Him.
“I listened for many weeks to Cathy giving advice to others about life. I said nothing in defense of what is morally right much less from a Christian perspective. Finally, when Cathy told a fellow employee, 'You're marrying the man, not God, so you don't need to worry that he's not your religion.' In saying that she had made it my business, so I said, 'That is not true.' Cathy turned to me and said, 'I do not like you at all.' At the end of the shift I asked God to get me out of this job. I just knew I had blown it for God and me. It's amazing how we are sure we know how God thinks.
“Here's what happened next. After a cold couple of weeks, Cathy unexpectedly handed me a letter written by her son about to graduate boot camp. The letter told how he went to chapel on Sunday just out of boredom. He went again and found out Jesus loves him just the way he is and Jesus will protect her while he is gone. Tears streamed down as I read the letter. When Cathy saw me crying, she began to cry, too. She said, 'Maybe I should get him a Bible for graduation, but where?' I told her, 'Go to a Christian book store.' She said, 'No way am I getting all dressed up to buy a Bible, much less go into a church to get one.' I told her, 'These book stores are like any other book store, they don't care how you dress, the bottom line is the money.'
“I suggested to her that my husband and I would love to do that for him. The next day, during her shift, my husband and I brought the Bible still in the box and tried to hand it to her. She would not touch it, she jumped back in total shock and amazement. I told her she had to take it, because her son's name was engraved on it. When I showed her, she stumbled backwards crying and yelling, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you, that's my son's name on a Bible.' She finally took the Bible and ran her hand slowly over the cover, still crying. Then she hugged us both.
“Did she come to Christ that day? All I know is Christ came to her and me that day. The rest is up to other workplace believers because she moved away a short time after that. We remain special friends to this very day. Thank you Lord.”