Friday, February 6, 2009

I Can Read

I was at the grocery store. The checkout clerk - a teenager - asked, "How are you doing today?" My reply, "Great, Matthew. How are you?" He nodded and kept scanning my items. It was the young man at the end of aisle that was stunned.

"Wait! Do you * know * each other?" Matthew wrinkled up his eyebrow and glared at the bagger. "I have a name tag on." he said, pointing to his chest, as I simultaneously replied, "I can read".

The young bagger spent the rest of the time I was in their lane saying: "Wow. That really freaked me out." "Man, she used his NAME." "Whoa...."

I was amused... And somewhat dismayed that calling someone by name was such a foreign concept to this young man. I also realized that I don't often take the opportunity to use someone's name. Sure, if I know them, I do, but people I don't know....not so much. I am often given the information I need - in a name tag or a placard. I can read. I just don't often choose to make the connection personal.

As Matthew handed me back my debit card receipt, he said "Have a nice day..." He glanced at the paper he was handing to me, ".... Linda." I smiled. The bagger shook his head, wide-eyed. Matthew laughed and shook his head at his partner.

I plan to become intentional about using people's names. There is a gift there in the process. There is power in a name.

Thank you, God, for reminding me - we all have names. You know them all. Help me to use them. Help me make the connection personal.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Funny story. I love how he looked at your name. Matt is so good with calling people by their name. I usually forget it as soon as you tell me.... Good reminder LINDA!!!