Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Discouraged, in a Season of Hope
I couldn’t help but notice her-an elderly woman, perhaps in her 80’s, shoulders hunched, a cart full of groceries-and a bewildered look on her face. She was a couple places ahead of us in line, and I could clearly see that she was having trouble. Standing at one of the four self checkout registers, she just couldn’t figure out what to do. The line of people moved around her-everyone wanting to get out of the store and go home. I saw her ask first one clerk for help, only to get brushed off because the clerk was in the middle of doing something else. She then asked another clerk for help, only to be told, “I’m sorry, but my shift just ended.” Finally, I went up to her and offered to help, but she declined. I could see by now she was extremely embarrassed, but more than that, she was worried about being a bother to someone. “Are you sure?” I asked. “Yes, thank you.” And so we made our purchases, and left. I was trying hard not to cry.
I don’t think I need to go into the emotions I was feeling. I bet you can guess, because I bet you would have felt as I did. Angry, appalled, bewildered myself... That why, in this season of goodwill, somehow this poor woman didn’t count?
While I’ll never have a second chance to help this woman out when she needed help (I should have tried harder) I was thinking about the little things I can do to feel hopeful when I get discouraged. Here is my list.
1. Hug my daughter. She is the greatest gift I have ever been given.
2. Pet my dogs. Without even trying to, they make my day with their antics!
3. Say a prayer for someone-anyone. It doesn’t even have to be someone I know.
4. Get the name of a needy child, and buy them a Christmas present. The fact that it’s anonymous makes it even better.
5. Reach out and touch someone on the arm when I am talking to them. I think people need that human connection.
6. Bake something. It’s like a hug from a grandmother! And baking with the help of a child is even better. My daughter and I have spent many happy hours together in the kitchen. Next week, my almost 3 year old nephew will be here and Amy and I plan to bake something with him.
7. When the living room is still dark, I like to plug in the Christmas tree and revel in the quiet beauty of the colored lights.
8. Watch an old Christmas movie. One of my favorites is “It Happened on 5th Avenue.”
9. Say “Thank You” to my husband. For all the things he does that go unnoticed, because I’m too busy grousing about socks on the floor, or dirty dishes in the sink.
10. Look for the good. It’s so easy for me to notice the bad around me-I think we live in a culture that feeds off of it, but there is plenty of good to be found.
What would you add to the list? Please tell me-I’d love to know!
Posted by Valerie Boersma at 10:24 AM