Friday, June 29, 2012

YOU NEVER KNOW

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~Anne Frank

My mom was eager to bring some life back to her front deck. Empty pots sat scattered here and there, crying out to be filled. I picked her up and we headed for our local nursery. Although it was early in the day, the hot summer sun and lack of breeze made me a bit concerned for my mom. But she was on a mission, determined to return home with an ample amount of plants to liven her outdoor space.

I grabbed a cart and we proceeded down the aisles. The nursery was void of customers. My mom and I were the only people without an apron touting the store's logo. Employees were moving about, tending to the plants. As we added pot after pot to our cart, I thought it odd that none of the employees were approaching us to offer help. True, my mom doesn't look her eighty-eight years, but still, I was clearly with an elderly person, and the cart was getting heavier and more difficult to manage. When I asked one of the employees to retrieve a hanging plant that was out of my reach, he handed it to me without a word or acknowledgement. I thanked him, but no response followed.

Standing at the cashier counter was no different. A ten minute wait with adequate staff but no help was beginning to annoy me, especially with my mom at my side. After we made the large purchase, again...no one offered to help us wheel the plants and load them into the car. By this time, I was deciding in my mind to never return to this nursery. There were plenty of other places that would welcome and appreciate the business, I mused.

Later that day, I shared our experience with my husband. I expected a similar response from him. Instead, I got a valuable reminder. "You never know ~ maybe something happened. Maybe a fellow employee got sick or passed away. You never know what may have happened." I was humbled. He was so right.

You never know. That grumpy cashier? The nieghbor who snapped at you? The man who beeped his horn at you because you weren't in his hurry? You never know the circumstances being played out in their lives.

Lord, make me a channel of your grace and kindness today. I don't know what people are dealing with, but you do. Help me to see them through your eyes of love and respond to them in a way that will bless them. I don't want to react in my own limited vision anymore.

"Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you ~ not because they are nice, but because you are." ~Author Unknown

"Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances." ~Saint Vincent de Paul

"In a world full of people who couldn't care less, be someone who couldn't care more." ~Author Unknown
  

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