Is shopping spiritual?
A friend and colleague mentioned that she needed to buy some new clothes—on a strict budget—but wasn’t sure where to start and needed some help. As an avid bargain hunter and a wannabe personal shopper, I offered to take her shopping at my favorite designer consignment store.
We met up on a Sunday afternoon and I helped her choose several pieces in colors that suited her complexion, had her try on brands she’d never considered before, and helped her think through how each item could fit into her current wardrobe. She ended up with several beautiful pieces (including a scarf I almost kept for myself) and stayed well under budget.
We had a great time, chatted over coffee afterward and hugged goodbye, saying how nice it was to see each other outside of a work situation.
A day or two later, she mentioned on her blog that she’d had a tough week and one of the highlights was me reaching out to her to go shopping, and that spending time with a nice Christian woman was a “breath of fresh air.”
I was genuinely surprised that our shopping together had meant something to her.
It occurred to me that, as Christians, we sometimes think that ministering to people or blessing others is limited to “spiritual things,” like sending a card with a Bible verse, praying for them or inviting them to a church event.
I admit that I sometimes feel like the desire to have new clothes and look pretty seems frivolous or even silly, so when I offered to take my friend shopping, it didn’t even occur to me that it had the potential to minister to her or encourage her—I just thought it would be fun!
I realized that my time spent shopping with her WAS ministry and that I’ve probably wasted a lot of opportunities when I’ve waited for “spiritual” occasions to reach out to people.
Now I look for more chances to bring joy into others’ lives, and I try to be more open-minded about what would be meaningful to them.
There are a lot of people out there who could use a little encouragement.
Maybe a skirt or a sweater can be “spiritual” after all!
Do you know someone who could use a pick-me-up? How can you minister to them in a way that means something to them?
This post first appeared on Centralaz.com
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