Monday, March 23, 2009

Look out world - Here I come!

I left Best Buy in tears on Saturday. Twice. The first was a slightly embarrassing breakdown while trying to chose a refrigerator for our new house. Too many decisions, too many options - no further details needed. The second, however, was entirely unexpected.

When we arrived at the appliance department, a man in his 70's with a slight limp and a crooked name tag that said "Alton" walked over to help us with our refrigerator decisions. I have to admit, I was a little frustrated that we didn't get the energetic, seemingly very- knowledgeable, quick-moving younger salesman, but God has a way of proving me wrong quite frequently, which is exactly what He did on Saturday.

Alton may have been slower than the other salesmen, and he might not have known quite the same amount about the technology in the refrigerators, but I can guarantee you no one in that store has as big of a heart as he does. Now, I realize that it sounds a little silly to write a blog post about how much a Best Buy salesman cares, and I would have agreed with you prior to Saturday, but after hearing Alton's story, I think you'd change your mind.

As we were checking out, Alton noticed my necklace (which was a Christian fish charm from James Avery). He commented on it to my parents, and that was all it took to open up. Alton printed our receipts, set our delivery date, and cracked a few jokes with my dad. At the end of this, he turned to all of us and began to share his story. He had spinal meningitis as a baby, and ended up with a limp because of it. On top of that, he grew up during WWII and with German heritage, experienced a lot of hatred from other kids (he said they used to jump on him and tickle him until he cried and then draw swastikas on him). His aunt (I think) stepped in and moved him to west Texas, and it was from her that he learned about true faith and hard work. He shared his battle with cancer, and how he survived, but that his aunt had recently lost the same battle. As he fought back tears, he continued to grab my hand and looking between Matt and I, said "I hope and pray you have what my wife and I had; I lost her last year, but for the 37 years, three months and one week that I had her, I didn't take her for granted" At this point, he caught himself, as tears ran down his cheeks, and said "oh my, I don't mean to get so emotional - but you know what I say when I get up every morning from saying my prayers? 'Look out world - here I come!'"

By this point, my mom, grandma, and myself were all in tears (mind you - we're still in the middle of the best buy appliance section) - and after giving Alton a hug goodbye (and signing our receipt, as we did buy a refrigerator from him), we finally left Best Buy. I think it's amazing how God can use one person's story to touch other lives - even through such a simple interaction. Who knows how many other stories like this I'd have if I didn't rush through life so much.

So - if you ever need an appliance - go see Alton at Best Buy! You won't regret it!
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The Joiners said...

Such a sweet story... thanks for giving me perspective for the day :)

Katie said...

aw when mom, dad and grandma came down to visit me today...grandma just kept talking about how you guys spent a long time looking at refridgerators but they didn't tell me that whole story...geez they made it sound like it was a bad day, but that sounds like a great day to me!

mom e said...

I didn't say it was a bad day! I thought Alton was a sweet old guy. I think grandma was just tired. She's no spring chicken any more.

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