I probably should have phoned in sick and dropped my drowsy head back onto my pillow. But I didn’t. I crawled out of bed, made myself look alive and drove to the restaurant. It was a busy Saturday. I hurried around coffeeing cups and seating people. A long line of costumers were adding up at the counter, so I ran to the register and turned to the first customer
“How was everything?”
“Do you really want to know?” he threatened.
I knew I didn‘t. but I couldn’t think of a proper stall. So I reluctantly answered,
He leaned over the counter and snarled,
“Well, my wife wanted to do a simple substitution and the waitress wouldn’t let her. Then the waitress got my order wrong. And she didn’t even come back to fill our water glasses even once.”
Usually I let it roll off my back. But just then my emotional stamina was thinner than tissue paper. My mind felt thick and heavy like mud. I was exhausted. I ached. At his words, my heart just sank and shriveled. I didn’t have the energy to respond, so I mumbled something about being sorry and it’s busy this morning. And he turned away muttering something about leaving reviews on internet sights.
Feeling like a fly zinged by an electric zapper, I cautiously glanced up into the eyes of the next customer. Before I could even open my mouth, he blurted out:
“Everything was fine!”
Something revived. I counted out his change and from the very bottom of my heart replied, “Thank you!”
And the next customer stepped up and answered, grinning:
“It was perfect.”
A well written antidote should stand on it’s own feet, unhampered by a sappy moral at the end. But if I were going to add anything, I’d merely comment on how nice it is when a whole line of open-eyed people see beyond the job someone is working and recognize a real person. And I’d probably remark on what a happy difference observant people can make in an ordinary somebody’s day.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
What could I,
But press my palm against my trembling lip?
And clench my tongue between my teeth lest slip
Accusing words, and angry whys
Hiccupped between hot tears.
Why beat a brick
Wall, as if my fist could break it?
Back of my tears I could not shake
Knowledge of a gentle Builder,
Who lays harsh stones with
If not beat,
Then yield, thought I. Let another
Reap from my sorrow. Let some boon
Seep from my tears - what though
The gain be His who pressed, not mine
My heart ached still to live and longed
To give to Him. To Him who had begun
All that was receding from my grasping. And I cried,
“Then break me!
Only let your glory shine through my breaking!
The fruit that swells and blushes on the bush
Watered by my tears; the years spent bent
Above the whistling flame; the first-fruits of my pain
So said I.
And struggle done, and thinking the gain from each
Pin-poke of my pain His, I turned to live a hundred
Long tomorrows. I didn’t know that I had wrestled out
My peace. While weeping, hot tears had cleansed. Pressed beneath
His thumb, I could not wriggle from His gaze. Prayer, wrung
From my reluctant soul, wove a ladder to the face of
His, perhaps, the glory-harvest.
But through spring’s slow season, no fruit shows. Yet
My soul breathes in fragrance oozing from sweet,
Fresh-burst blossom. My eyes drink the pink and white
Sight of bloom.
My peace has sprung.