Grace in the little places

Not only was Thanksgiving wonderful, but I had Reunion weekend. Saturday I got to meet my friend April for dinner, and Sunday I got to meet up with Mike & Monica and their kids for a little bit. It's always so fun to get a chance to see good friends and catch up.

Mike & Monica were stopping through town on their way home, so I went over to Perkins for a little bit while they grabbed lunch. Our Perkins is often disappointing. Not enough wait staff. Kind of a pokey kitchen. It was that way again. But here's the conversation that I loved: Mike & Monica debating whether to leave a small tip for the poor service, or a good tip to make her day. They decided that they could guarantee this woman was not having a good day. She had too many tables to wait on. Undoubtedly it would be a small tip day. She had been friendly enough when she managed to make it over. A bigger tip was going to be more noticed, and a better way to be Jesus to her that day, so that's what they did.

I thought of it when I was doing the group gift shopping for the quadruple baby shower last night, and had a cartfull of 3 separate purchases. Some kid was about to go on break when the photo girl called him over to help me check out. "But I'm s'posed to go on break." Cody didn't want to help me and my complicated cartfull. But I felt for the kid. He's coming off of Black Friday. He's probably been working like crazy. Customers aren't nice around this time of year. Holiday cheer is reserved for your friends, not the cashier. And poor Cody, the second he starts to help me the manager comes over "Cody, you need to take your half." So she leaves and I say, "Cody, you can't win." And he says, "I really can't!" He asks me if I want to open a Target account to save 10%. I say no thanks. He says he didn't think so, but he has to ask. So he rings up my second order, and I say, "And I'll still pass on the Target account, but thank you." He laughs enough to forget my change and he has to open the drawer again. Three large purchases later, I say, "Thank you, Cody, for a job well done. Enjoy your break." He says thanks, and he will. Honestly, my first instinct was to be rude to him. How dare he be so obvious about not wanting to ring me up, when this is his job. But I don't know what he's been through today. And being rude was only going to make me feel cranky, and not improve his day at all. I'm not saying I changed the kid's life, but I felt better.

I remember Christmas as a quiet, peaceful but exciting time of year. It is now holiday madness as I write party after party & dance shows and doctor's appointments on the calendar. If I can make a conscious effort to show people some grace in the little places, it will certainly make me feel better. Hopefully them too. And I'm guessing Jesus (reason for season) is okay with it as well, and I pray He helps me to remember it.


Torrie said...

good post sarah!! that's a good reminder. i so tend toward the rude. and i am certainly not a good tipper, i have high standards (some people say it's because i'm from stearns county...). but i like mike and monica's take. i need to remember things like that! thanks!

Karin said...

Thanks for the excellent reminder, Sarah! It is so true, how being nice to just one person can affect them, and the next person they encounter, etc. Kinda like that "pay it forward" commercial that is running on TV. We all just need to slow down and have more patience in our daily activities. I've really been enjoying reading your blog, BTW! :)