I love to go to malls.
Even when we’re on vacation in a strange town, I like to find the nearest mall.
Some people think malls are awful, a blight on an otherwise fair city, a waste of land where a park or open space should be.
But malls are one of the best places to watch people. And all the novels that I write start out by observing a person and then letting my imagination get going.
The other day I was in a department store. A saleslady was helping me. Out of the blue she started to share about her recent divorce and how unloving her ex-husband has been. She tried not to cry. I listened for a long time but felt helpless to offer her any other comfort.
It was clear by some of the things she said that she had had some sort of Christian religious background. She finished with, “I just feel like God is against me or that He doesn’t care.”
How my heart hurt for this lovely lady. The only thing I thought to say was, “When you turn to God and ask Him to be your guide, He won’t ever leave you. Stay close to Him and let Him direct your ways.”
We parted shortly afterward. I walked back into the main part of the mall and looked at the people going in and out of the shops. How many others are going through heavy stuff like the saleslady in the department store?
In spite of the nice clothes, the expensive shoes and handbags, the fat billfolds, I need to look beyond the externals and see others through the eyes of Jesus.
They may look all put together, so put together that people like me assume they don’t need to hear about Jesus.
Or that they don’t need to be prayed over.
I’ve come up with a new reason to visit malls: pray for the people I pass in the aisles!
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:13 NIV Bible)