Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Divine Appointment

It was late. I was tired. My husband and I both hungry. As I drove out of the parking lot, I phone my husband to tell him I would soon be home. As we discussed "dinner plans", it was decided take out was our best option and I, the best one to pick it up since I was already out.

I soon found myself at a local sandwich shop. After placing our order, I took a nearby seat and began the process of waiting. All I could think of was getting home, eating, and going to bed. My thoughts were soon interrupted by the voice of an irate customer. Her complaints were trivial. Obviously, her tirade was more about drawing attention to herself than to her order.

The young lady assisting her was amazing. Through all the verbal abuse, unreasonable complaints and demands placed on her by this customer, her countenance never changed. Her smile remained and her voice was calm and remarkably pleasant. As I sat there witnessing this scene, I felt impressed by God to commend this young lady for her professionalism. As soon as my number was called and my order ready, I would approach her at the counter and pass along words of much deserved praise and recognition.

Impressed by the behavior of this young lady, my eyes continued to follow her as she worked. After completing an order, she headed to the phone and began to call someone. I couldn't help overhearing her conversation. Evidently, no one had shown up to babysit her young children and they were home alone. It was quite obvious she had made several earlier calls, just like this one, in hopes of locating someone to watch over her little ones until her shift ended and she could return home. From the look on her face, this phone call only brought with it another "No, I'm sorry I can't" along with mounting fear for her children. As she hung up, she sat in a chair, rubbing her forehead with one hand while wiping tears with her other.

My number was called and I approached the counter to pick up our order. I had been waiting for this moment to speak with her, but now, she was sitting in the back portion of the kitchen. Silently I prayed the Lord would give me the opportunity. She looked up and surprisingly, I was able to catch her eye with the wave of my hand. She smiled and made her way to the counter.

"Yes? How can I help you? Is there something wrong with your order?" she asked, trying to hide the fear in her heart and the tears in her eyes.

"No." I replied. "I just couldn't leave here tonight without telling you how much I appreciate the professional and kind manner in which you dealt with that difficult customer earlier. I know it wasn't easy for you. God provided you with the inner strength you needed. He is always right here with you, and just like He gave you the strength to deal with that woman, He will give you the strength to deal with whatever may be happening in your life right at this very moment. He cares for you and He will be faithful to provide you with all you need. I will be praying for you"

She smiled, thanked me, and handed me my order. I walked in the direction of the door and she returned to her work.

As I reached my car, I bowed my head in prayer. As I had watched in disgust, the behaviour of the self-absorbed customer, God had opened my eyes to see my own selfishness reflected through her actions. How my "I"-rate behaviour must disgust my Heavenly Father! Lord, forgive me. As I had watched the beauty of the young lady serving, I had seen my own need for more of Christ in my heart and life. Lord, live in and through me. As I had glimpsed the deeply hidden anguish in this young woman's life, I had been reminded to speak more kinder and treat others more gently, for we never know what they may be facing in their lives. Lord, teach me to love. As I was given the privilege to speak words of affirmation and encouragement to this hurting heart, I was convicted to seek out every door of opportunity to share words of hope, love and truth with those around me.
Lord, use me to speak your words to others.

As I drove home, I realized I was no longer feeling upset, tired and fatigued. Instead, I felt refreshed! I prayed the young lady at the sandwich shop felt refreshed too!

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! What a moving story! You were so kind to that woman. I know your encouraging words that night touched that woman more than you will ever know! I want to thank you for reminding me to stop focusing on myself and notice those around me!


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