Saturday, January 23, 2010

More Than Stamps

Fighting to keep her composure, the clerk at the Post Office served the gentleman in line ahead of me.

He gave the common greeting, “Hi! How are you today?”

He received an uncommon response. The expected, yet often rote, ‘Fine’, was replaced with silence, followed by a broken reply, almost inaudible.

“We had to put our cat down today. Her liver stopped working.”

The gentleman expressed his condolences, seeming very uneasy. Handling a woman…a stranger woman in tears, was obviously not his area of expertise. Why did his wife send him to mail these parcels today!

Shortly thereafter I approached the counter. Normally I would have purchased the needed stamps and quickly moved on, but not today. Today I was choosing courage.

“I couldn’t help but overhear that you had to put your cat down today. I’m so sorry.”

A single tear escaped and trickled down her cheek.

I paid for my stamps and moved to the side. She served two other customers and then turned again to me.

“His name was ‘Andy’. We loved him so much. We had him for 17 years. I’m sad, but it’s my husband I’m worried about. He’s devastated. He couldn’t go to work today. I have just phoned to have a gal come and take over my shift here shortly so that I can go home and be a comfort to him.”

Now was not the time to tell this grieving clerk that I don’t even like cats. Now was not the time to shyly move away. Now was not the time to rush off to accomplish the next item on an already overly scheduled agenda. Now was the time to listen.

Her face brightened as she spoke of Andy’s antics. It was apparent that he was a much loved companion.

I left with her name and her husband’s name and told her I would be praying for them. Again she reiterated, “Oh, I’ll be OK, but please pray for my husband.”

Bravery came today in a sharing of sympathy, a listening ear and a promise to pray.

Adding a Post Script to the Elevator Saga:

If you read Tuesday’s post, you know “Day one” of my journey to choose courage had me riding in an elevator. Well, a funny thing happened yesterday. The very fitness center I wrote about here, was having repair work done, closing off the entrance to the stairs. Guess what? The only way up was to use the elevator! It’s a very small elevator and quite confining. Before Tuesday I would have discovered this predicament and walked away, deciding not to use the facility again until I could climb the stairs. Not yesterday. Yesterday I bravely faced my enemy again…looked him in the eye…pushed that button…and rose to greater heights! I also made a discovery. I was with my sister…and she seemed more nervous than me! ;)

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Lori said...

Joy, You are reaching new heights! I'm just loving how our precious Father is finding ways each day to pursue you!

As I listened to how you empathized with the clerk, I was drawn to today's reading when Job said, "But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief." (16:5). Sweet Joy, you were living God's Word yesterday when you took the time to put your "to-do," list aside, and truly show compassion. Reminds me of just what Jesus would do, my friend! Thank you for sharing with us!

Love you,

Alene said...

Hopping over from Elaine's. I love your blog. So inviting. Thanks for sharing your journey at the post office. Blessings new friend.

~Grace and Peace said...

Dear Joy,
Sometimes slowing down to listen to a total stranger, to be quiet and offer to pray takes more courage than going rock climbing. Bless your heart!

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

God bless you, Joy, for your kindness to that girl. Even though you are not a cat lover, you showed her the love of Jesus. God smiled on you, my friend.


prashant said...

I love your blog. So inviting. Thanks for sharing your journey at the post office. Blessings new friend.
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