Well, today “kindness” cost $3.14 – but the lesson was priceless. I share this because we seldom get a second chance to do something good, or “right.”
I stopped into a fast food restaurant to grab a coffee before going over to the dentist’s office to get 2 teeth extracted. A woman walked in and asked the Manager if she had an extra roll of toilet paper. The Manager looked confused and asked if it was needed in the restroom – and the woman told her, no, she was just wondering if they could afford to give her a roll of toilet paper. The Manager, of course, said no, and then she and the other counter staff laughed after the woman left.
I watched the woman once she got outside. She seemed confused. She went up to cars, presumably trying to see if anyone was in there. I watched to see if she connected with anyone, but she didn’t. I started to go outside, but hesitated and then she left.
I walked over to the dentist office, regretting that I hadn’t gone out to speak with her. Shortly after I signed in at the front desk, the woman walked in asking the same question. Again the same scenario repeated itself. The receptionist seemed puzzled at the question and then told her they couldn’t give her any. The woman turned dejected and walked out. The chatter started among the other people waiting as well as the office staff at the front. I got up and told the receptionist that I would be right back.
There happened to be a drug store next door. I called out to the woman, and asked her to come over to me. I asked her name – Dianne. I asked if she had a job, which she didn’t. She was on SSI. She had kids. I told her to come inside the drugstore with me. We went back to the paper goods and I bought her a package of toilet paper. She thanked me.
When we got outside she started to cry. She wanted to tell me about a man who was “breaking her heart” – and apparently took her assistance check the day before. I gently told her that I needed to get back to my appointment and then walked away.
Then I turned around and called out to her again. “You deserve better,“ I said to her. “Just remember, God loves you and you deserve better.” She smiled tearfully and we both turned around and walked away.
Any time we allow ourselves to invest even a few moments in another person’s life – we walk away a better person – not because of what we do, but because of what/who we allow to touch us.
She came to me twice. We don’t always get a “second chance” – guess Creator knows how guarded I can be! Glad I listened the second time.
It’s been a good day. (Even if I did get some teeth pulled!)
~ Rev. Deb Adler