Monday, August 5, 2013

60 Seconds of Compassion

I'm going to draw you a mental picture.

Imagine the scene:

I had JUST finished my first-of-the-month Coscto run. Last month was a long one, so we had nothing in the house. Nothing.

This meant my cart was FULL.

We had to *lot* to purchase, so we were in the store longer than I had expected. My boys were hungry and arguing. My baby was crying.

I had spent too much of my grocery envelope, and was trying to calculate how to make the rest of our grocery budget last the rest of the month silently praying for miracle-math to find it's way to my purse.

Judging by the bags under my eyes, it was clear that I haven't had a good night's sleep in a few months.

Judging by the dulled, chipped finger nail polish on my hands, I haven't had a moment to myself in over a week.

Judging by the pony tail holding hair back, I hadn't had a nice long shower in at least 24 hours.

I was in the middle of self-bagging my bulk groceries into the van while simultaneously looking for Baby L's pacifier to soothe her, giving the boys their “God only gave you one brother, it may be nice to take good care of him.  He's the only one you've got." speech (for the millionth time), cutting my hand on the rust of my van, and doing grocery math in the back of my head....

It was a *sight.*

In that moment, an older lady saunters past me, and in a sing-songy voice she says, "Don't let me hit you."

I look up. Clearly she wasn't talking to me.

Oh...but she WAS.

Sure enough, she looks (down) at me out of the corner of her eye as she heads to her luxury Cadillac that she parked too close to my (rusty) van.

My first instinct was this:

"SHUT UP, hoity toity BITCH!  You can wait a FLIPPING minute for me to finish loading my groceries."

I'm not proud of the fact that this was my first reaction. (just being honest here...)

Oh...I wanted to spout off. I was frustrated. I was tired. I had too many things going through my head at the moment.

Instead of letting my tongue get the better of me, I was reminded that I had a van door open with 6 impressionable ears waiting for my reaction.

So...I looked down. My cart was approximately 6 inches into “her space.”

I moved my cart out of her space and slid it behind my van.

Apparently, that wasn't enough for her. As she backed up, I could see her look, move, slam on her brakes, move more, brake, move...


I was still agitated.

So, I did what I felt I should do.

                                                                       I knocked on her passenger window.

She was moving at the moment...and I made her brake. She didn't open the window, though.

                                                                 She just sat there.

I knocked again and bent down.

                                                She gave me approximately 4 inches of open window.

"Would it have killed you to give me 60 seconds of compassion?   That would have gone a long way."

She responded by rolling up her window, and just pulling out of the spot. Never looking and almost hitting someone else behind her.

I was feeling pretty self-righteous for not loosing my cool in front of my kids. I felt as though I had won a small battle. Then, God pulled me off my self-constructed (albeit short) podium.

“How many times have you, Sandy, failed to give someone else 60 seconds of compassion?!?!?”


He was right. There are *many* times I fail to give someone else compassion. Many times I knee jerk and quickly spout off...and not help an already struggling situation.

Perhaps by granting 60 seconds of compassion.....of empathy..... of grace, I can go a long way at helping others out.

                                                    It wouldn't have killed the hoity toity lady, and it won't kill me.


Anonymous said...

Dear friend: I would have keyed her car.

I mean... 60 seconds, thank you for the reminder ;)

And I love you! Beyond words!

The Gardener said...

I have days like those. Although, along with saying something to the woman I would have given her my children too. And, made sure their fingers were sticky when they got in her pristine car. :-)