Sunday, November 18, 2012

Today I had a divine appointment...and I missed it.

So I am having a nice Saturday outing with my husband and my girls strolling around the square.  Allow me to set the stage... I say nice- Daniel is tired and the girls are both feeling under the weather and I have not had much sleep the last few nights because of it.  However, I was determined to take them out and do something fun.  We had gone to the Festival of Trees where different people/groups from our town decorate Christmas trees to be judged and voted on.  If you know me, you know I am not much for decorating and certainly not much for judging others' decorations but I wanted to get in touch with events going on in our town, which we are fairly new residents of, and since the flyer stated there would be a petting zoo, I thought the girls might enjoy it.  Plus, I had told Lily about it earlier and now she was excited.  Well... no petting zoo and sick and tired family make for a day of "trying" to enjoy ourselves.  My sweet daughter didn't even complain.  I thought, well, at least maybe we can get her some ice cream for a treat (as ice cream is a rare thing at our house!).  In the midst of half realized dreams and ones that no longer exist that is our town square, we managed to find a place that served ice cream, right past the small movie theater that was unusually busy due to the latest popular movie saga craze... Twilight (how fitting??).  As we are standing outside the door to the establishment that promised sweet treats deciding if we should enter, we are greeted by an older woman who opens the door with a smile.  I thought, "Oh-how nice," as it did catch me off guard.  Upon entering, I noticed the restaurant was seemingly void of life, except for the blaring tv at the bar and a few teenagers sharing a booth.  As we made our way to the bar where the ice cream was, "What do you want?" came from an unenthused and irritated meloncholic shell of a young black woman wearing a Garth Brooks shirt and a lip ring.  I could feel my husband's thoughts of "Really?"..."She must not be the owner"..."Do you even work here, and do you care that we are customers?".  I was caught off guard yet again feeling uninvited now and unsure how to respond because I didn't want ice cream anymore.  I ordered a cookies 'n cream cone for Lily, Daniel paid, and after a quick unfeeling and rote exchange..."Have a good day," "You, too", we ended our divine appointment at the ice cream shop...

Wait, WHAT?, hold on, divine appointment... surely I mistyped that you say.  Well, I could end this post there, and let you ponder that for a moment.  I'm sure you could come up with some interesting conclusions or insights, or just be frustrated at a premature ending to the story.  Well, I don't want to disappoint, and more importantly, I would miss out sharing my life-changing experience in the mundane with you.   Back to the events... As we were leaving, my husband looks at me and though we know eachother well enough by now to leave some things unsaid, "Point and case," comes out of his nap-needing handsome face.  I felt the same way.  But, that young woman... who was she?  Despite her display, she was not unfeeling, how could a human being created in the image of God be unfeeling?  I imagined an ocean of feeling, the appearance of calm with the uncertainty of storm and wave and rage and yet also of beauty and life and love.  She was no different than me.  We kept walking, got in the car, and went home.  As an often reflecting and introverted person, I sometimes miss the opportunity to reach out... to connect, to act on any seemingly random notions.  I don't, however, disregard those notions as inconsequential.  I know my actions, a simple and genuine, "How are you feeling today?  Are you doing alright?" to a complete stranger, could mean the world, and could be a lasting glimmer in the monotony of one's daily life.  I don't want to miss it because I'm wrapped up in my own little world, in my monotony, in my thoughts of how people "should" act and how an employee of a business "should" treat customers.  I don't want to be captivated by thoughts of how others should be more cheerful or serve others better... I am a follower of Christ, I am called to serve others whether my job description says so or whether I am a customer at my town's local eatery.  I am called to compassion, to understanding, to grace, to any and all, to the world.  That is what Jesus showed me through his people who crossed my ordinary path, when I was an unenthused and irritated melancholic shell of a woman.  I am glad they didn't miss it.

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