This post was in my drafts for 7 years. I pastored a church in Ashland Ohio from 2010-2015 and the office was next door to a tobacco shop. Below is an interaction I had with Pam, one of the employees.
Today I was burning a candle in my office. I didn’t have a lighter at the time so I borrowed one from someone down the hall. When I moved my candle to another part of my desk, the wax got jostled and snuffed it out.
A place called Cheap Tobacco sits next door to my office and I felt a nudge from God to go buy a lighter this time. I made a covenant to social skydive once a day for the next 30 days so this fit the bill.
The store was empty aside from me and the lady behind the counter. After I bought my lighter, I introduced myself and asked her what she’s learned about people managing a tobacco shop. Most people I’ve asked something similar to this generally respond by saying how messed up people are but she admitted she loves her customers.
Her eyes got teary when she told me about the twenty-something kid that comes in with “not a tooth in his head”, and “smells to high heavens.” At one point, she had a mushroom snuffer on her counter that he would eye every time he came in. Finally one day she said, “Oh, just take the d*mn thing!”
She said even though she missed it, it made her very happy to give it to him. My heart melted and I’ve been on the hunt for one since.
I couldn’t find one just like the one she gave away so I made one from scratch. It came out pretty nice and she cried when I brought it in.