Sunday, September 21, 2008

Divine Appointment with Humilty!

I left the house this evening for a short trip to Wally World to get my papers and return a movie. I made it all the way to Walmart before realizing that I didn't have my wallet. This was not because I had left it at the house, it was because Josh had taken it out of my purse and had not returned it. Needless to say, I was not happy. In fact, I was thinking about how I was going to go about making him feel guilty for causing me so much trouble!

I turned around, grabbed my wallet and headed back to the store. After grabbing my papers I surveyed the check stands gambling on the "fastest" (which always ends up being the slowest for me) line. I chose a "self check out" stand. There was only one person in line in front of me so I figured it wouldn't take long. I was wrong. This lady owed $20 and was paying for it in dimes! Yes, you heard me right.....DIMES!

Josh still wasn't feeling well so I had promised him a quick trip. This really put a damper on that quick trip. I was standing there grumbling in my head about how ridiculous it was for her to come to a grocery store and pay with change......and why didn't she go through a regular line so that she didn't have to break open her rolls and feed each dime individually, how rude.......and didn't she have any consideration for anyone besides herself? Seriously.......when did I get like this?

The line started backing up behind me until people realized what was going on, started rolling their eyes and quickly searching for a new line. Once I saw how ridiculous these people looked.....getting so upset over a few minutes, my perspective changed.

I then began going through all of the reasons why she would be paying with change and remembered all the people from Galveston who had lost everything and evacuated to North Texas.....could she be one of them? I wondered if she was a single Mom doing all she could to get the necessities for her kids and this was all she had.

While my mind was swarming she turned ever so slightly and quietly said, "I'm sorry" with an obvious shame covering her like a black cloud.

My emotions overwhelmed me at this point as I touched her arm and told her not to worry about what anyone thinks. She turned and thanked me, telling me that they would not accept her coins in a regular line. My heart broke.....not even as much for the lady as at my arrogance and hardened heart!

When did I become so much about myself that I don't even stop to think about the fact that everyone else out there actually has a life and doesn't live to please me? That other people out there have lives that aren't always peachy?

Only seconds after we exchanged words did I have a chance to redeem my thoughts and display the grace of God. The change box must have become full. It quit taking her change when she had about $8 left to go. She just kept trying over and over to make it work......clearly beginning to panic. It was OBVIOUS that she needed whatever she was getting and did not know how to make that happen.

I told her not to worry about take her stuff and go. The mix of relief and shame poured out in her demeanor. She did NOT want to let me help her but she also knew there was no other way. She threw the rest of her change on the counter, apologizing profusely and thanking me.

I really did nothing for her. She didn't even give me the opportunity to pay the bill for her. She did something for me......she gave me the opportunity to see myself as sick and selfish as I truly am.

As I drove home, pondering how God had so clearly worked out the perfect timing for our meeting, I realized how perspective can change everything! I also thought through all of my arrogant comments while driving or shopping or attending events. I am constantly wondering why people are driving like idiots or are so rude and won't smile, etc. etc.......while never considering their circumstances.

I am resolving today to stop and think before I make give everyone the benefit of the shower everyone with the grace that God gives to each of us even though we don't deserve it! I pray that you will choose to do the same.


Kimberly said...

you made me cry

Create Joy Custom Designs said...

Love your blog! And just so you know, you are not the only one with these thoughts. Thanks for sharing your story, and for letting God use you to teach me a lesson as well! =)

~Jaclyn Hatcher

BTW, where did you get (or create) your background? I love it, and am trying to do something like that on ours.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet story! You know, God really did use you to show her his grace. She must have felt so trapped and unloved. Thank you for pointing out those things that I think of others all the time. It is true that everyone has something hard in their life that they need love for.

Jenna and Mosin Haider said...

This brought tears to my eyes. GREAT story. I've also been in a situation almost exactly like this before last December. Its amazing how quickly one person can make you stop and re-think why you judge people. Thank you for this, Reagan. Very good post.

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