Thursday, August 2, 2012

...sAviNg gRaCe...

We all have those days.  Some are worse than others.  You know, the ones where nothing seems to go right.  It's interesting how small acts in the middle of one of those days can either make the day feel unsalvagable or make it totally manageable...maybe even a little better.  It's like a saving grace.  It's nothing that is OWED to you, but it's more like a gift from out of nowhere.  I experienced this today and it made me think about my own interactions with people.

Today has felt like the day that will never end.  At times, I've wondered how I would get all the places I needed to go and anticipated what the next thing to go wrong would be.  When I ran into Subway to buy sandwiches for my kids before I had to rush off to go see my oldest daughter sing in a recital, it didn't surprise me at all when things went wrong.  When I went to pay, I realized that I had left my wallet on my table in the entryway of my house when I took it out to pay a tow truck driver.  I felt the surge of frustration and stress welling up inside me as I explained that I would leave the sandwiches and be right back to pay.  I expected the men working to be annoyed or disinterested at the very least, but I was wrong.  One smiled at me and said, "Take the sandwiches.  It sounds like you are having a tough day and I don't want them to get cold.  Then, you can come back and pay.  I've seen you in here and I know you'll be back."  A wash of relief came over me.  I was STILL without my wallet, and this was STILL going to make me run behind, but that small gesture of kindness and the kindness that I was shown somehow made it not feel so bad.

As I drove home, I thought about what had happened.  I wondered why a complete stranger...a man that I probably have nothing in common with...was willing to trust me and offer a "lending hand" to me.  It made me think of this quote by philosophy:  
"grace is one simple act that makes an amazing impact. one compliment, one lending hand, one thoughtful gesture. all it takes is one second of your day to make an impression that can last a lifetime."   
That's exactly what it was...grace.  I thought about how differently I would've felt had he been annoyed or treated me badly.  But MORE importantly, I wondered what I would've done if I were on the other side of the counter.  
It reminded me that even the smallest gesture can make a difference and it changed me a little.  Lately, I've been pretty caught up in my own feelings and fears about the future.  I've experienced the sting of disappointment and almost felt like I had the right to be bitter.  Today was a little wake up call.  What happened in that Subway, gave me the desire to look outside myself and my own suffering.  I decided that the next time things aren't going well for another person, I want to do my part to make people feel better around me rather than thinking about how another's misfortune might impact meMaybe then, I can be someone's "saving grace."

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