Sunday, September 09, 2007

Taking it all in STRIDE

Labor day week... ahhh finally a nice relaxed four day week with a set routine. Not really. I've come to the conclusion that God really does not want us to be comfortable where we are. I'm glad. Just about the time you think things are slowing down, new things come up and there is more on your plate than you can stomach. This week Ladies, Bible study kicked off on Thursday, my first full week back to school started off with a bang, and i learned that patience really IS a virture.

Working at Kregel's 3 nights this week was a switch from my usual day shifts. Wednesday night i got to work just shortly after 3:30 and i was training one of our new staff members when all of a sudden our work place became a war zone. :D ok maybe i'm exaggerating. We had a customer in who was disabled and when i say disabled i mean she was mentally sick not like downs sindrom or Alzhimers, she had demonic thoughts and used two names, she yelled very loudly throughout the store demanding our every move and attention. She used words that i prefer not to repeat and she put me down like I was a piece of poo on the sidewalk. Initially i was very scared and didn't know how to approach the situation and then God decided to tell me how to handel her one step at a time. i started to pray and God gave me strength and patience and love for her that i didn't i could have. She was in our store for a total of 3 hours Wednesday night spending a total of 400.00 on bargin books and the like. I was pooped and i was ready to quit my job... but i didn't of course that would be just plain stupid. Thursday rolls around and again i go into work optimistic that the shift would go better than the night before. I hadn't learned my lesson good enough though so God decided to bring her back to Kregels for another 3 hours and another 700.00 worth of purchases. Wow, this time, went much better... i was tired and i was upset with her continual put-downs. it litterally wore me out to speak to her and again, God gave me the strength to serve her with a smile and to help her with her order. Now, i understand that these things are totally out of her control as well as mine and that night God really broke my heart. i was broken for this lady and so many others like her. i had such a great appreciation for the life that God has given to me and was humbled to know that i am no better than her. God loves me. I am broken, bruised, sinful, dirty, and full of unrighteousness and yet God loves me and gives me new life in Jesus Christ. God sees that lady the same way he sees me. I was humbled and challenged to see her that same way. I was challenged to see her not for what she was yelling to me, not for what her outer appearance was like, not for what her carelessness for others was, but for what she is as a creation of God. No, i can't change her life and her condition but God can and he certainly used her condition to teach me what it really means to give of yourself and just love as Christ loves. Christ came to earth and shared the gospel with men and women just like my customer. And just think, they didn't have medication for things like that back then! What patience and obedience to his father. i want to have that kind of love for people. I won't work with people like her everyday but i can work to see everyone in light of who they are as a creation of God. We are all broken, and we all get to heaven under someone else's name.

Thanks God for the lessons and the patience. give me strength daily to love like you love and live like you lived in total obedience and gratefulness.