It was now two days before Christmas and I was yet again shopping for ingredients for baking. Thankfully butter was not on the list this time but I was going down the candy aisle.
There she was! Stephanie.
Would you believe me if I told you I wanted to run the other direction? Yes. I did. And I tried. But God stuck out His foot and tripped me!
Ok, no He didn’t. It was me fumbling over the display stand I didn’t see.
To save face, now that I had her attention, I said in the friendliest, it’s-been-so-long-since-I’ve-seen-you voice,
- “Hi Stephanie! How are you?”
- “Good! Thanks!” she replied with an ear to ear grin.
[press the pause button]
What’s important for you to know here is her very courteous personality. Because by my next question, I realized she had absolutely no recollection of who I was. Any sane person would have left me standing there. But not Stephanie. She's much too polite.
- “How’s the job hunt going?”
- “Oh! Thank you for asking! I got the job at [location] and I start on Monday! I’m so excited about what I’ll be able to do there while really using my customer service skills.”
I am jumping up and down in my mind. She got the job! She got the job! And of COURSE it's customer service! My doctor's office should hire her! I might actually like dealing with them and ...eerck. Wait. This wasn't about me and there was a slight tilt of the head from Stephanie (perhaps I wasn’t jumping in my mind and perhaps I was talking out loud?). Awkward silence. Then came the sound of crickets.
Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.
Woops! Sorry, my turn.
-“I’m so glad you got it. I did pray for you.”
That’s when she “saw” me.
- “Oh yeah! Yes! That’s right! I remember you! I got the job the very next day and I thought of you! Thank you! I just didn’t see you again to tell you. But THANKS!”
At this point I think I was overwhelmed with emotion over her genuine excitement that I managed to get out a faint and cheerful, “Wonderful. Thank God.”
Just in that moment, Stephanie glanced at my cart and the candy behind her. “Yes. Thank God. Merry Christmas!”
As she walked away, I made a quick inventory of the half collected ingredients she saw. NUTS! Again, no rice cakes or carrot sticks. What was she doing in that aisle anyway?! Let me simply say this: God truly has a sense of humor.
But I bet you're jealous of the desserts I made!
Tuxedo Brownies - yup, that's white chocolate in there.
Fancy cupcakes - so good!
Next time I see Stephanie, wherever and if ever, I'm inviting her over for dinner. And to not disappoint her, I'm making sure I have plenty of cookies...or at least bread and ...you guessed it...butter.
Ultimately, this just may be what He intended. Time to slow down, go deeper, relationships with His children and not just the "check out lady". Isn't that just what a good parent wants? He wants His to get along and love one another.
Thank God for that.