I was at Walmart, right in front near the checkouts and restrooms. Little Cutie-pa-tooty in the next lane was about six, jumping up and down in her flip-flops, with a pained and frantic look on her little face. Because there was a big yellow canvas cart in front of the door to the ladies’ room and even she knew what that meant.
As the cleaning lady came out to get something from the yellow cart, she didn’t appear particularly hurried or concerned. I guessed she was just following her schedule and the next thing was “maintenance to ladies’ restroom near checkouts.”
But it was noon – on a busy Friday. A time when we all think they need more checkers and open restrooms.
A time when everything should be ready – not getting ready.
I was tempted to go in and ask if it was okay for a little girl to use the bathroom, even if she wasn’t done cleaning. But I didn’t. And I watched several more women walk up to the door, stop abruptly, and walk away as casually as possible.
I was so anxious for that little one and wanted to fix it. And I was so annoyed at Walmart’s poor scheduling practices.
The third time the cleaner came out, I couldn’t resist. Are you almost finished?
She said very quietly, I’m done.
Whew! Cutie rushed in and all was well with the world.
Oh, thank goodness. I could finally relax.
I finished checking out, collected my purchases and walked past two employees talking at the Service Center. I heard one say, “Yeah, some lady threw up in there… twice!”
Oh good golly, Miss Molly.
No wonder the cleaning lady was working slowly, methodically. She wasn’t distracted or unconcerned at all. She was probably trying not to get sick herself. She was probably doing the very best she could under what is possibly the worst Ladies’ Restroom Maintenance Emergency. Ugh.
Nancy K. You know better. You’ve done this before and you know better.
You immediately went “there.”
There. The place where I know all about it and draw the completely wrong conclusion – in so many ways. The place where I’m righteously judgmental and indignant about the callousness of others. The place where I keep getting it wrong… but keep going back.
Jeepers creepers. And good golly. I keep going back!
I’m not the only one who returns to those places that are dark. The places where I’m blind and wrong. The places I swear I won’t revisit, only to find myself returning at the slightest provocation or difficult situation. You have places like that, don’t you? They are irresistible.
But, thank you, Jesus, for repeated and abundant forgiveness and grace. Thank you for gently reminding us that we don’t know it all and it’s not all about us. That we should be a little closer to Humility and a little quicker to share that abundant forgiveness and grace.
And when it comes to going There? We need to just say very quietly, “I’m done.”
Thank you, Jesus, for gently reminding us that we don’t know it all and it’s not all about us. Click to Tweet
I was just talking to the boys about this yesterday as we witnessed a hurried driver diving through traffic. My son was immediately irritated at the driver (I wonder where he got that from 😳) And while I may have normally reacted In a similar way, it bothered me to see my son get so worked up about it. It’s so easy to simplify a situation to suit our knee jerk reaction (as if we know all of the factors from our second or two of observation), but much more difficult to remain calm and look at things objectively. You never know why someone might be in such a hurry. Maybe they’re just being an impatient jerk, or maybe their father just had a heart attack, or maybe they just thru-up in a Walmart bathroom and they’re trying to get home before they throw up again…you never know.
I’m not a religious man but I do believe in compassion, tolerance and patience as a way to better serve my family, society and myself. In practice it’s much more difficult…we all slip up. But practice makes progress.
Good read Nancy! Cheers!
Dear, sweet Brady – thanks so much for your story and kind words. And welcome…xoxox
Guilty as charged. Been there, done that. Thanks for the reminder. Mom
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Thank you Nancy. Always causing me to think more deeply.Love,Pat