Sunday, July 17, 2011

Post-Riot: Sharing @ London Drugs

The London Drugs store at West Georgia & Granville street
     Last Sunday, I had gone on my first solo venture in attempting to sharing my faith in downtown Vancouver. I had visited The Hudson's Bay store that had been broken into during the Stanley Cup riot in June, and had the opportunity to share my faith with one of the managers and staff in the store, through a card that I had written for them. Today, I went on my second little expedition, this time to the London Drugs store, situated right across the road from The Bay. London Drugs had experienced major vandalism during the night of the riots, with its doors hammered at repeatedly until they gave way. The rioters had then proceeded to systematically pillage the store.

    Arriving there in the early afternoon, I wondered what to expect. I had only been in this store for a few moments almost two years ago, and had very little recollection of it. While wandering through the watch section at The Bay last week, broken display cabinets were still clearly visible, although wrapped with plenty of plastic wrapping while awaiting repair. London Drugs did not seem to have visible remnants of that night; there was only a sign at the front entrance, stating that major renovations would be coming soon. Wandering around in the Computer section downstairs, I came across a salesperson who asked if I needed help. When I explained why I was there and showed him the card I had made for them, He looked a little taken aback at first and then broke into a huge grin.  

    It's such an overpowering experience, opening one's heart to share God's love with someone and watching the smile that lights up their face in the process!

    I got to chat with him for a little while, and share the previous realizations that I had come to about the evil that is perpetrated upon businesses when their trust is violated, and premises and property vandalized. He was very appreciative, and told me where I could find the store supervisor. The lady at the Customer Service desk had the same reaction as the salesperson downstairs - first surprise, then huge smile. I wondered if it was that unusual for someone to show up in the store with a card of appreciation and sympathy for everyone. Like the card that I made for the management and staff of The Bay, this one tried to express my sentiments as best as I could. I wanted to tell them that their business mattered, but more importantly that their lives mattered, that Jesus loved them, and that the violation of their store and trust was not right. And as much as justice was needed upon those deserving of it, that the people of London Drugs would experience healing in their hearts and grace to forgive those who had perpetrated this upon them.

    When the store supervisor showed up a few moments later, I was able to share those thoughts with her. She mentioned that she would place my card in the staff lunch room, along with the others that they had received. I think I need to show more appreciation to the retail and salespeople that I encounter when I visit their stores. I know I'm certainly culpable of this. How many times have I waltzed into a store, grabbed the stuff I needed and waltzed back out? It seems so often that I've just seen them as 'business' intends me to perceive them - means to help me attain my ends as quickly and efficiently as possible. Sure, I've said the customary 'Please' and 'Thank You' and had the occasional odd chat here and there, but although I've often wondered about the person behind the store uniform, I've hardly ever stopped to engage them and let them know about God's love for them. May God give me the presence of mind and boldness of tongue to do so in future.

    Thank You, Jesus, for another wonderful opportunity to share Your love with someone. I'm looking forward to greater steps of faith with You next week!

- The Wisdom Seeker