I was in a store with my parents this week and the clerk was extremely rude! We had put all of our purchases in one basket, but at the checkout, I pulled mine out first and left the items mom and dad were going to pay for in the basket. The clerk started by demanding that we bring the basket up to her and when I tried to explain that the items left in the buggy were to be paid for separately—her response: she started slamming items around and muttering under her breath. There followed more criticism and strong, angrily spoken words regarding the ID. My mom has trouble dealing with negative talk and I could tell she and I were both getting irritated by this clerk.
I stepped up beside the clerk and spoke VERY firmly . . . “I’m sorry you’re having such a BAD day!” My attitude was not right, I can assure you. I stepped back and helped move some of mom and dad’s things from their basket and then walked forward to stand by my basket at the end of the checkout. As the clerk finished ringing up mom and dad’s items, she stepped toward me and I figured I was now going to get some more rudeness; however, instead she apologized!!! She said she was sorry that she had taken out on us her anger with her employer who was asking her to stay and work extra hours, but was then cutting her total hours overall until she would have trouble paying her bills and she resented the way they were using her. I responded that I was sorry for her situation and she told me she appreciated that I had just spoken to her and had not verbally abused her as many had in her 8 years of working there and she expressed that she did not feel that she got any respect.
As I left that store, I knew God had given me a great parable . . . even though my words were not spoken to her with the right attitude, in fact, I was actually trying to let her know how rude she was (I guess that makes sense, huh? Be rude to her so she would recognize her own rudeness??? Yeah, right!) I was convicted that God had blessed that clerk through me in spite of me = He was faithful even when I wasn’t!
I pray that in the future I will remember this incident and respond to someone I think is being rude to me with the mind of Christ–realizing that the person is probably going through some tough time and the odds are that I would not react any better if I were going through the same situation. Do unto others as I would have them do unto me . . . feel compassion when I see another acting bad . . . allow God to flow His Love through me without judgment.