Even Hawaii had a few unpleasantly hot days out of the year and I was walking through one. Turning off the crowded main strip of the tourist town I lived in, I walked down a short alleyway to the little kiosk I knew would provide relief, the shave-ice stand. Call them sno-cones if you want, in Hawaii, it’s shave-ice. And this little stand, part of a local chain, made the best I knew. The girl behind the counter complained how bored she was as she fixed my treat and put on the three syrups I asked for, cherry, watermelon and bubblegum. I understood how she felt. The kiosk was in a little commercial mall, set back from the main strip of the town. Despite the crowds of the heavy tourist season, I was the only customer.
I got my shave ice and walked back toward the street. Out in the sun the sweet red syrup began running down my hand, so I stopped right where I was and sat on a stoop. Right there, ignoring the crowds walking past me, I ate my cold shave ice with the joy one would expect, vaguely aware of people stopping to look at me.
When I was done I stood up, entertaining the thought of perhaps going and just chatting with the girl at the kiosk. But to my surprise, there was a line reaching almost to the street. What had happened? Me. The only thing that had happened to bring business in was me sitting and eating the shave ice where everyone could see me.
I walked home, cooled by the cold delight, but pondering what I knew about my faith. That shave ice was like The Kingdom of God. Yes, it was tasty, but not for that reason. I didn’t go out on the street and wave signs about the shave ice stand, I didn’t drive around the town with a bumper sticker and I didn’t go to the nearest ice cream parlor and yell people away from it. All I did was be among people walking down the hot sidewalk, enjoying what I had.
Psalm 34:8 tells us Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Sometimes all we need to do is show others the truth of that.