I served in Karlsruhe in the spring of 1992. On Saturdays, the stores were open until 2 pm, and everyone and their brother would be shopping. The shops were then closed from 2 pm Saturday until Monday morning.
Shop owners spent Saturday afternoon preparing their store windows for Sunday's window shoppers, also a common past time. Saturday mornings were very busy and a productive time for finding people by street contacting. We were a group of 8 missionaries serving in Karlsruhe, 2 sisters and 6 elders. We had a small street display and table that we set up on the Marktplatz for street contacting.
Excerpts from my journal on April 25, 1992: "Street contacting was hard today. I was irritated because we were late, and the morning had been difficult for no specific reason. The weather today was gorgeous, and everyone seemed to be in an "Eat, drink, and be merry!" mood. No one wanted to listen to us. Not fun. People on the street were exceptionally rude, or maybe I was just in a mood. At any rate, it was a tough morning.
After a couple of hours, we took a break at the schloss park, had a good cry, and talked for a while. We both felt so discouraged and intimidated. A older man with kind eyes came and sat on the other end of our bench. I don't think he spoke English or German. He glanced at us. Then, after a few minutes when he got up to leave, he walked over, smiled so kindly, and shook our hands. He must have known we were having a hard day. I wonder who he is and what his story is. After he walked away, we both felt better and went back over to meet the elders with renewed hope."
I'm reminded of the chorus of the children's Primary song, "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus."
Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.
I'm grateful for that gentleman's small but significant act of service. I hope that I serve and encourage others as he did, even in my demeanor.
Has someone served you in a simple way that made a big impact? Let us know.