I didn’t pay too much attention to the tall, thin, man with short red hair as he walked with intention in his long strides and glanced about the place. I finished a late and undercooked breakfast, paid for what I could only eat half of… at least they weren’t stingy with the house coffee.
I dropped the tip on the old Formica two top and headed for the exit, about twenty feet behind the young man with the long legs in uniform. He quickly scoped me out as we both made our way to the front door. I smiled slightly without thinking at the poor kid as the reality of his job hit me.
His job is to look for the potential bad in folks… something many of us do for free. He couldn’t see my eyes behind the shades that I’d slipped from the top of my head to cover them from the brilliant Arizona summer. It began to dawn on me that the uniformed man was not comfortable with not being able to see behind the lenses.
The trained young man glanced at my carrying case with the black leather handles gripped loosely in my right hand. The gym clothes didn’t help him resolve in his mind the possible danger I potentially presented…. I could see that in his eyes as he rushed his way with the cash from the restaurant’s safe to the armored car parked in the fire lane as close to the front door as possible.
Typical in many excessively hot or cold climates, restaurants are designed and built with vestibules that are usually small transition areas from outside to inside entry doors to trap some of the outside air from sneaking in, trapping the air in the not-outside-but-not-inside-either.
The young armored guard glanced over his shoulder in an uncomfortable manner as he hit the first door to the vestibule with concern in his eyes. I slowed a tad. When he got to the vestibule exit his eyes had full-blown fear in them. Always a dangerous thing. I paused a moment at the push handle of the vestibule exit door.
In less than two seconds, the guard was in the bulletproof armored truck where the driver was eyeing me with the same emotion in his eyes. I watched them from the corner of my eyes, guarding the treasure. I didn’t even turn my head in their direction. The idea of getting mistaken for an armored car robber and possibly being shot, while amusing, doesn’t have a ton of appeal.
I looked the other way strolling slowly toward my truck as the heavy box truck’s engine roared tearing away from the front of the restaurant. “What a horrible job!” I thought to myself. Not that any of us should be ignorant to the potential dangers that can lurk in this fallen world, but to carry money that makes an honest person a target to bad folks isn’t a job I’d be standing in line for.
The young armored car guard’s job was more than just the typical, “Expect the unexpected:” his job is to hunt and seek potential trouble, by the way a person or group of people look, but he does get a paycheck for the effort.
I’m afraid too many of us in our modern church act like that armored car guard. We tend to look for the worst in people as if they’re going to take something from us, even beyond material possessions. Or, they don’t look like the way we’ve been trained for them to look.
Many of us act as if we see them as a potential danger to our treasure we carry within us instead of sharing our Treasure with them. We tend to forget that all of the world is in search of a treasure they believe will save them or fulfill them. They’re trying to fill their carrying case with worldly treasures that never can quench their desire.
The lost long to carry in their cases and hearts what we carry in ours, and too often we treat them as if our Treasure isn’t enough to go around… Who we carry with us is worth more than all the riches of this world… He owns it and designed us to share it… Not guard as if we earned it…