Saturday, November 21, 2009



Several years ago I walked into the shoe store owned by a good friend with whom I exchange a lot of good natured banter and the latest jokes. Out of the blue I announced to him that I noted he had no customers and that I could help him with the problem. He responded with a questioning nod and a smile, waiting on the punch-line, whereupon I told him it was no joke. I said matter-a-factually, “you take me back and sell me a pair of shoes, and I guarantee that when I come up to check-out, I will have to wait behind four other customers.”

He rolled his eyes as we started to the back of the store where the men’s shoes were located. After finding the shoes I wanted, we returned to the front and check-out. His eyes widened as I stepped into the line – FOUR PEOPLE DEEP! I turned to him and with an air of I-told-you-so and asked, “Now, do you want to put me on a percentage basis or straight salary?” I went on to explain. “You see, I have this special AURA that surrounds me everywhere I go. When I go to Walmart to purchase just a few items, I can go in and all of the check-out lines are empty of customers. I won’t be but just a very few moments, and when I return, every line is full. It happens every time.”

Needless to say, he continued to be skeptical and I left without a SALE on my AURA. It continues to be the base for good-natured ribbing each time I stop in and find no customers in the shop.

Later on, as I was standing in line at WM, I noted that the checker was having a particularly rough time with a customer about FOUR ahead of me, and began to weigh what she was feeling. As the line shortened toward me, her patience and demeanor became even more negatively pronounced. It seemed the other customers, rather than giving her encouragement, became impatient themselves, adding fuel to the already intolerable situation. Observing this, I determined to try to be a positive influence.

As my turn came, I simply stated, “I’m here to bless you today!”

She looked up from her task with a look that said, “Oh no. What now?”

Others were behind me in line, so I began quickly to explain to her about my AURA, which was already a source of blessing because it brought many customers into the store. Granted, some didn’t realize they were part of the blessing.

Heads behind me began to nod in agreement, their own rush forgotten for the moment. I went on to explain that as a Christian, I was to be a source of encouragement, so I thanked her for her task of helping me.

As I completed check-out, she smiled and expressed, “Thank you. You’ve made my day.”

“Of course,” I said, “that’s what my AURA is all about!”

Now, to explain, I’ve studied this AURA phenomenon extensively in other situations and it always works. Not just at WM or my friend’s shoe store. It happens when I am on the road, driving. I can bank on it. If I want to go somewhere, this AURA will be felt by many others who seem bent on going the same direction, many to the same location. Now, prior to my research into this AURA, invariably I would take the stance of many of those customers I mentioned, who became more of a problem than the blessing they should have been. I’m still not perfect and forget my AURA’s influence, and become impatient with the press of the folks I have “infected”. but coming to my senses, assume my responsibility and try to enjoy the trip, even uttering a prayer for those drawn along in my wake.

In my study, I have noted that the AURA responds to my emotions. When I am in a rush, pressed for time, or otherwise anxious to complete my trip or get through the check-out, my AURA seems amplified and draws a greater number of persons into my space. Often, I think, if I truly want to get somewhere quicker, I need to assume a deadpan look, chill my emotions and speak with a typical “Ben Stein” monotone. Yes, I think that would do it.

The only problem is, the AURA not only affects others, it also affects me and cannot be bottled up for long. And shouldn’t be!

Now, at this point, many of you are thinking that all that I’ve explained, YOU’VE BEEN THERE! DONE THAT! You just did not think of it as an AURA. You’ve perhaps thought of it in terms of the world in which you live. It’s just the way things are. We face the good and the bad with no control over situations. Just make the best of it. Correct?

WRONG! I started out thinking of it as a joke with my friend. Quite frankly, I was SURPRISED about those first FOUR myself. I was simply stating things I had observed that happen to people everyday – waiting in lines, etc. Then the more I thought of it, the more I reflected on just what kind of influence I have. And do you know what?


I realized also, that those who do not have His presence, do have their own “AURA” that they project, often not as attractive as the one HE GIVES!

As I thought on this, I realized another application of TRUTH that I believe about how God works to enhance the AURA of His Son.

First, I believe God is in providential control of every life's contacts. Second, I believe that God has given me His Son that I might be a bearer of His blessings through His Son. Third, I believe God puts people in “my way” to touch them with that PRESENCE. Hence, the AURA which is His, shines forth to touch all with whom I come into contact, whether in a check-out line at WM or on the highway, everywhere and in all situations. And He is in control of the movements of others, to bring them into that AURA of influence for His good purpose.



Consider these scriptures and be encouraged today:
Matthew 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”


Amber said...

Good good stuff, Dad.
Real good stuff.

I think the AURA is hereditary....because I draw crowds like flies to stink.

But, I love the concept of my aura being that of the Jesus that folks see out in the world. Whether it is with a buggy full of groceries, three rascally rascals in tow, and being in the snail-of-checkers' line at the store.

(Oh...and even though I already heard this once today, it was fun reading it again!) :)

Jo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo said...

Hey Bro!
I agree with you whole-heartedly. Over the years, I have come across so many people that are rude, in check-out lines, traffic, & other situations.
In traffic with in-a-hurry ppl, I try to smile and stay out of their way, moving over to let them pass if they want, and smile at them as they go. Waving is out...can be dangerous, given the right (or wrong) situation.
In check-out lines, I often can be seen conversing with the clerk and customers around me.
Just recently, an older gentleman was ahead of me in line at WM, about to get his purchases rung up. He looked back at me as he was laying his goods on the belt. I smiled. He smiled. Then, he began talking to me as if I was an aquaintance. He spoke about his family and the state of today's economy while he finished with his purchases. It was a short conversation, and as he was about to roll his cart out, he turned back to me and said "you have a great day, now!" I returned the comment and smiled. Then, the checker looked at me with a smile and said "I sure wish everyone that comes through here had a disposition like that..he was so nice!"

Remember this old saying....?
"You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" It's true! If you project yourself negatively, it's like a mirror... you get negative back.

Ok, 'nuff said.
Excellent post!


Tiffani said...

Well, Jim-Dad, this was good readin' if I do say so myself...

I tend to always think when I'm in a line or dealing with someone "I do not know what kind of day they've had or what hurts that they may be experiencing, so Tiff, extend grace, always grace..." even if I'm in a hurry!

I think it's a tough lesson to not want the blessing for ourselves and to think of how we may be a blessing to others...such a sweet reminder today!

Thanks, Jim-Dad!!

Mich said...

Dad, I can't count how many times I have been in a line with you and you made the checkout girl smile. Gave me the warm fuzzies just thinking about it.

I love you.

He & Me + 3 said...

What a great post. That seems to happen to me too. I love how you put it. I pray that my Aura is shining daily.