Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sweet Kinda Finds Part 2

Yesterday's post is not complete. I just kept thinking about the one other "sweet kinda find" I failed to mention. When I was in the grocery store Saturday, I needed help with the pricing of some of the meat I was purchasing. As I ventured toward the back of the store, I spotted a woman stocking cheese. I approached her with a smile. But she was not smiling. In fact, she looked as if she hoped I would not come any closer. "May I ask you a question about one of the sale items?", I asked. With a grunt under her breath she mumbled,"What is it."

As I inquired of her, she became very sharp toward me. She pointed to the coupon I was holding and snapped, "IT IS RIGHT HERE IN WRITING. ONE COUPON PER CUSTOMER!" In my normal tone I answered, "But the coupon says, "one coupon per deal". I wanted to know if I could purchase more than that."

She looked again at me in disgust as if I had no intelligence. I felt my anger rising up somewhere in me. Then I began to think ugly thoughts like. "Who does she think she is? Just wait until I find the manager! I am going to tell on her!"

Then some other Voice in me said, "No, just be calm and kind." I had a bit of an argument going on in me. I thought,"What? She is treating me like dirt! I do not want be nice!" However I somehow found some strength in me that I know was not my own. I looked at her again and smiled. "Thank you so much.", I said, "I really appreciate your helping me. Have a great day!" It was not 5 seconds later that the woman came rushing up to me, "Wait! I will ask and make sure." As she found the meat manager, she came back to me, smiled and sweetly asked for forgiveness. "Please forgive me. I am not thinking straight. I have had a migraine headache all morning and just do not feel well."

A wave of compassion washed over me and I realized the real reason this woman was so rude to me. I know I have had my share of migraines and pounding headaches. And she is right. When your head is hurting that much, it is hard to be kind and to think straight!

So my point is that we are to be like that light post in the photo above. We do not know what kind of darkness we may encounter each day as we go about our daily routines. Everything in me wanted to be ugly and hateful right back to this lady. However, I chose to do the opposite of what I wanted to do. The result was that this woman apologized and shared with me why she was rude. It gave me an opportunity to talk further with her and to share how sorry I was that she was not feeling well. That morning I walked out of the store with 6 packages of steak. However, it meant more to me that Someone above was reminding me of the more important things in life.

This little encounter reminded me that as we engage with others in the world, we really do not know what path they are on. Many are on a rough and rocky trail. Some are wondering how they are going to make ends meet. Some may be going through troubled marriages. Others may be dealing with terminal illness. It goes on and on. I can look at the rocky trail and know that I have hiked through many and there will be more to come. When I am walking over the ruts and rocks of trials in my life, I want others to understand me when I am having a bad day. People just want to be understood and they simply want someone to care.
Have you ever felt like you were living on the edge? I know I have. And when I am in those seasons when I feel like I am on the verge of tipping over the ledge of hardship, I just want someone to forget about themselves and be kind to me. Tis the season for kindness. Tis the season for compassion even in the smallest forms. I want to contribute in every way I can. The sweetest kinda of find is digging deep down to pull out kindness to share with another who is having a bad day! Tis the season to spread light and hope in the darkness of our times.

My Prayer

Give me strength
That is not my own
To Love others
Within and outside
The walls of my home.

Help me to guard
My heart from strife,
or unkindness
polluting my life.

Make my heart pure
as white, soft snow
So I will not withhold
Sharing kindness
others so need to know.

When I act on my own
I surely do fail
But with Your heart
moving through me,
Love will prevail.

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