About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

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  1. Jen,
    I LOVE this! We can do church anywhere: the grocery store, a nearby park, waiting in line at the DMV, encouraging a mom pushing twins in a stroller. All it takes is being open to God’s leading and when He opens a door, we need to be brave enough to step through. Just as Kaqueen will remember his senior mentor, this man will remember your blessing of “well done good and faithful servant.”
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Yes Please to encouraging mums pushing strollers!! Haha

      And Please Forgive Us when trying to shop with lots of kids gets in the way of us being as hospitable/considerate as we should be.
      May God help grow that capacity in me despite the mummying chaos!

      • Oh no worries there. Don’t we all have different seasons? I certainly remember when going into the grocery store with children meant survival mode and definitely not one to eavesdrop on conversations. 🙂

        you’re doing a great job, momma.

        xoxo

    • I LOVE this story! What a blessing you were to them and them to you. So glad you followed the Holy Spirit’s prompting to be brave and talk to them. Your words spoke life to their unique relationship. A simple lesson about grocery shopping will never be forgotten.

  2. I love this story. If only our whole world could be like this – just imagine – but I guess we will have to wait for Heaven. In the meantime, staying alert to the possibility of listening and sharing with others is the key. Thank you for sharing.

  3. God has blessed me with some young people to be a John to in the hustle and bustle of life. This truly is “The great adventure.” I find young people (and people in general) are just looking for significance and we who are seasoned with years of life experiences need to be in tune to the Holy Spirit’s leading in offering hope, hugs, encouragement, guidance and wisdom. We need to TAKE TIME TO CARE. Thank you for this timely reminder.

    • Oh Hattie – THANK YOU THANK YOU for stepping out in obedience and mentoring and pouring into those a little behind you in the journey. So grateful for you.

  4. Just wow! What a beautiful story to eavesdrop on, to join in on, and to share with us so we can be a part also! I am going to be on the lookout for a beautiful story as well! Thank you for sharing and for affirming them both in their beautiful journey together~
    I love this story so much 🙂

  5. Love this. Reading it as I get ready for work. I am a pediatric physical therapist and every Saturday I see a young adult man with cerebral palsy that I have been treating for his entire life. I pray, worry and try to motivate him and his mom to help him live to his potential. He walks with a single cane, graduated from high school but has every reason in the world (in his thinking) not to try to get a job or help himself. Mom is lovely but unable to really help with some tough love. He needs a “John” in his life. Will you take a moment friends and pray for Michael today. Pray that he will have others “do church” with him. Thank you friends.

    • Susan – first, thank you for all the ways you encourage and support those every day while doing your vocational work. I know you are having an impact, but yes, I am praying for that family now. I can only imagine how challenging it would be.

      xoxo

  6. THIS is the type of hope-encouragement-truth speaking post the church NEEDS to speak over everyone who will stop and read this! Thank you for getting down to the nitty gritty TRUTH of the love of our Great Lord without getting sidetracked by the world’s desires to search for political issues in every interaction. Thank you Jennifer!

  7. We are the Church to the world. The unsaved watch us who are saved. By the way we live our lives. The Church is not the body it is the saved people like me and you. So we have to be very careful the way we live our lives when in this big world. No matter where we go. By what we do and say. Live the way Jesus would want us to live it. Like what you did in the Grocery store going talking to those two men that God Holy Spirit guided you to go talk to. Look were it leaded you too. So you never know who that you are talking to that is not saved that is watching you that are saved. On how you live your life as Christian. If you drive and it raining if you know someone in your Church don’t do what a lady said to me this lady said and did to her. You will be ok you have an umbrella. It was raining that day when the lady said it. That lady that had the umbrella did not drive. The lady that said that did drive. The lady that had the umbrella was not saved. So if you where saved and said that to unsaved person didn’t offer that unsaved person a lift home. Especially if going past her door home. When it raining. It would not make the unsaved person think much of the saved person. Or want to get saved. It would make in my eyes if unsaved say if Christian like that why would I bother getting saved. So we have to be a Christian be the Church to the unsaved and live our lives like Jesus would. Doing good to all. Plus being kind caring and loving to all. Saved or not saved. Let the Holy Spirit guide us to know when to reach out to speak to people plus not to reach out to people speak just pray quietly and a time too help thoes in needs. Just like you did in the grocery store went to speak to those to men.
    Love Dawn Ferguson-Little

    • Thank you for sharing, Dawn. Sometimes we forgot the power that a rhythm of kindness and welcome have on those around us.

      xoxo

  8. The grocery store has become my local mission field. I know most of the workers and clerks by name. A few months ago, when I asked one of the produce men how he was doing, he just said “okay.” That didn’t sound too positive so I asked him what was going on. He replied that several months earlier a customer came in, was rather violent and this worker had to take him down. In the process blood was exchanged and the grocery worker was diagnosed with hepatitis C. He was to start the long treatment that week. I told him my 3 a.m. prayer time was open for additional requests and he was added. Two weeks later I asked him how it was going. He told me that the “other day” he had gotten a call from the medical office and was told the initial lab report was a false positive. PTL! I told him was surely can praise the Lord. He agreed; don’t know whether he has a personal relationship with Jesus. Since then I have had prayer with other workers. It is so delightful how Jesus gives us opportunities to share the love and hope we have. Jennifer, I love your comment, “Stay alert, aware, and engage is my mantra. I’m turning apathy into attentiveness.” God will overwhelm us.

    • Oh Elsa – I love reading this and thank you for making your ordinary, everyday store, the place to shine Jesus love on those around you. 🙂 What an impact you’ve already had.

      xoxox
      Jen

  9. Jen,

    Thank you for taking the time to listen & obey God. That little conversation probably did more to boost their spirits than anything. They will never forget it. I know Kaqueen will never forget his mentor. This world needs more John’s. People taking the time to mentor & teach the younger generation. It can build a bond between the two people. Older people have a flood of information & time on their hands. Take the time to mentor a younger person in life skills, church, what ever. It will do both of you good. We are commanded in Titus 2:4 to train the young women in Godly living. More importantly we ALL need to heed Christ’s call to do church. Now more than ever we need to shine God’s light on the sin darkened world. Take the time to speak to others about God & His saving grace. This proves the point that church can be done anywhere at anytime. We don’t need fancy buildings just people walking the walk & talking the talk.

    Blessings 🙂

  10. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing! I let shyness – or something under the cover of shyness – prevent me from talking to people so many times and I miss out on “church” because of it. I’m encouraged by your story to be more bold and live more fully in Christ. I love that “for a spit second,” you “panicked.” I love that he thanked you for “interrupting.” I love that you celebrated their lives and choices! I pray it sticks with them a long time and they are encouraged by that “church service” over and over again!

  11. I loved this beautiful story you shared. Us younger people really do need the ones ahead of us to help us find our way..I wish I’d had a mentor as a teen. Perhaps I wouldn’t struggle so much as an adult. Life isn’t easy for sure. But your encouragement to this duo in the grocery store was a gift to them. So many think “they don’t have anything to offer.” It’s not true. We can all learn from and teach another.

  12. What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing. It is so good to hear positive things like this. Praise the Lord!

  13. Jennifer,
    This was so profoundly touching.
    Thank-you for sharing such a special moment with us.
    Blessings to all,
    Penny