Just Ask Me!
“Oh shoot! No WiFi in this area either!” I had signed in to the free Internet at the Los Angeles airport. However, the signal was so weak in most gate areas that it was of no use. We had a long delay ahead of us, and I was tired of searching for a signal.
Nevertheless I stood up with phone in hand to walk out into the main corridor. And then I saw her. She had a bright orange vest with two words boldly printed on the back: ASK ME
There were several people surrounding her, and she addressed each of them in turn with a welcoming smile. I hesitated. After all, what could she possibly do about the WiFi in this major airport?
As soon as the last person was helped, I shared my situation with her.
“Oh, the signal in this area is terrible,” she sympathized with me. “If it’s something important you need, I can let you use my phone’s hotspot.”
I couldn’t believe this more than generous offer: connection to her personal data usage! I assured her that I had time to walk around in my search. I just wanted to text my family that we were delayed. Shortly after, I returned to let her know that she could direct others to a certain location where they could catch a strong signal. She thanked me and we chatted briefly about my upcoming flight.
Such a simple but important job. Making travelers feel welcome and helping those with problems and questions. Ana Castro was perfectly positioned at Gate 22 in Terminal Two. She stood right in the path of newly arrived passengers who were searching for their baggage and transportation. She was also handy for travelers who had just cleared security and were hurrying to reach their gate. Coming and going, here was a warm and welcoming person to calmly address everyone who took her at her word and just asked her!
How many times have I entered a store or building or have been searching the aisles and there’s no one around? Sometimes there’s just a bank of elevators with a list of services or offices I might be looking for.
How wonderful it would be to have someone available to reassure me I was in the right building or area. How helpful it would be to have a few people positioned in a large store who could guide me to an item. Or someone who steps from behind a reception counter to lead me through a maze of turns to reach my destination.
Actually those helpful experiences have happened to me. And I’m most grateful to the person who says, “Here, let me take you there or at least be sure you’re headed in the right direction.” Those are the Ana Castros who make a company or organization shine.
But sometimes the asking requires more than a simple answer. Sometimes we are asked to give of ourselves or our time beyond the requirements, beyond the job description.
Especially when we have been given so much. Especially when we are given the privilege of leading. Especially when we recognize Who is doing the asking. For as our Lord Jesus says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48b).
Our Lord Jesus was entrusted by His Father with much. He wears the ultimate ASK ME sign. He says, “Come to me (ASK ME), all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He tells me over and over to ask Him for small things and big things, important things and seemingly insignificant things. “Just ask! Don’t worry! I’ll hear you and I will answer!” (Luke 10:2; Luke 11:9; Luke 11:13; John 15:7; John 16:24; 1 John 5:14)
And for my most important search, the plea for forgiveness, my Lord Jesus positioned Himself perfectly … on the cross to die in the place of my sinful words and thoughts and actions.
I should always have an ASK ME sign on my back as I go through life. I should be available to help others in need. It’s my earthly privilege to serve! But I also need to be wearing that sign when those who are seeking the load of guilt to be lifted from their lives need the answer of forgiveness and grace (1 Peter 3:15).
Most of all I should be perfectly positioned … not shirk from those places that God has put me in … the leadership roles where I can make a difference and be of help to others.
And it’s not helpful if I hide behind an office door or title. Instead I need to be accessible physically and with a listening spirit to help, guide, or, like Ana, maybe just bring a little joy into someone’s day.
Leaving my guilt at the cross,
(First published at Lead Like Jesus February 2019)