The golden arches are a constant reminder of cheap food, cheap toys for the kids, a place to play, a bathroom stop when we travel, and has been a significant part of my life (more than I care to admit). There is no telling how many times I and my family have eaten there; so let’s just say I am a fan of Mickey-ds. However, Kimberly, the kids, and I went to our storage unit last Sunday afternoon to dig out some fall clothes and on our way back home we decided to stop by McDonalds for a “snack.” We walked into the restaurant where we were left to stand there for at least five to seven minutes. There were over a dozen people working, but all had their backs turned to us, and no one so much as looked at us. Some were within touching distance. Â I consider myself a patient person, but after seven minutes going by without even so much as eye contact, I grew agitated. I began to feel as though I was being ignored and that my money was not even wanted. We passed the time asking the children what they wanted, asked them to pick out our seat, and even sent them to the bathroom to wash their hands, only to have them come back and find us still waiting, still no contact. And we were the only customers in line (or in the building).
When people don’t acknowledge your presence it goes directly to your feelings of worth. Am I and my family not worth so much as eye contact or a smile? It makes you feel invisible, as though people don’t really see you.
God says throughout the Scripture, “I see you.” When people are ignored they feel like they are considered to not exist, or that they are not valued, or even worth someone’s time to say “hello.” While God is a Spirit, and we can’t see Him, He speaks words that go to the very heart of our feelings of worth. Even when we go astray, he wants us to know that He see us. It is not a condemning look, but a look of concern and compassion. He wants us to know that we are worth His coming after us. 
Genesis 3:8-11 “And they heard the sound of theÂ LordÂ God walking in the garden in the coolÂ of the day, and the man and his wifeÂ hid themselves from the presence of theÂ LordÂ God among the trees of the garden.Â 9Â But theÂ LordÂ God called to the man and said to him, â€œWhere are you?â€Â 10Â And he said, â€œI heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid,Â because I was naked, and I hid myself.â€Â 11Â He said, â€œWho told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?â€
Exodus 2:23 “During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of IsraelÂ groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help.Â Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.Â 24Â AndÂ God heard their groaning, and GodÂ remembered his covenant withÂ Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.Â 25Â GodÂ saw the people of Israelâ€”and GodÂ knew.”
Jonah 4:10 “When God saw what they did,Â how they turned from their evil way,Â God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.”
And, ultimately, God saw our sinful condition of being separated from Him, He therefore did what was required to bring us back into a right relationship with Him. Â John 3:16 â€œForÂ God so lovedÂ the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should notÂ perish but have eternal life.”
God is always watching us, desiring to speak with us, and spend time with us. So, as His disciples, the most powerful tools you have to change the world are/is your time, your words, looking people in the eye, and a smile. Throwing money at people will not make them feel the love of Christ, but spending time with them, talking with them, acknowledging their presence goes a long way.
If someone would have said, “Hello, welcome to McDonalds, we are really busy right now, someone will be right with you” while they were smiling, I would wait all day (ok, significantly longer). I’m fine with waiting, I know in life things happen that are unexpected or need to rectified before things can be moved forward. But just don’t ignore me. Let me encourage you today to make a special effort to recognize, speak to, smile at, and even give an appropriate touch to everyone you can.
In a place of business there is an expectation of being welcomed, even honored, taken care of, etc., but what about at church? What do people expect regarding “customer service” when they visit a church. Sadly, I believe the expectation is very low, but it would seem to me that since we know how God treats us, we as His image bearers would seek to reflect this same type if love and attention to others. With all that God has done to get our attention, seeking after us, and making us feel “special” should we not reflect this same level of love to others outside our congregations? But the best part, is that our most powerful way of doing this is free! It costs nothing to speak to someone, shake their hand, ask them how they are doing, telling them that you are glad they are there, or spending time with them.
I have been to too many churches where my presence there was like the McDonalds example given above. You walk in and no speaks to you, or even looks at you, when you sit down and no one seems to care that you are even there. This should not be, because this is not how God treats us. We were once strangers but now we are His children.Â Matthew 25:34-36 “ThenÂ the King will say toÂ those on his right, â€˜Come, youÂ who are blessed by my Father,Â inheritÂ the kingdomÂ prepared for youÂ from the foundation of the world.Â 35Â ForÂ I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and youÂ gave me drink,Â I was a stranger and you welcomed me,Â 36Â I was naked and you clothed me,Â I was sick and youÂ visited me,Â I was in prison and you came to me.â€™ “
 see Psalm 139