The Saddest Words I Ever Heard...
Posted by Angie Spady on
Greetings on Good Friday to all my followers! Sheesh! As you're aware it’s been a long time since I’ve written. I wish I could provide a lengthy reason for the big gap of time between blog posts but I cannot. I can't blame it on Covid, as I’m thankful, so far, that I haven’t had it. Quite simply, I’ve been trying to figure out what normalcy looks for myself. Every day we hear of many who are trying to do the same. Many young adults have quit their jobs (I'm too old to understand this strategy and how they're surviving) and many older adults have decided to either retire early or relocate to places a bit more peaceful and less crowded. In one way or another, we’ve all had to recalibrate.
Economically speaking, Covid affected many small jewelry designers, like myself, in a big way. Of course, many women aren’t wearing jewelry if they’re donning a mask. I totally understand and hoping things change. Since I also have RSD that can also be triggered by stress, the pain in my limbs has affected projects I do on a daily basis. The result? I’m working on one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. Check out a few pics here. Using my patented technique of combining exotic wood and crushed gemstones, they’re pretty special. Some of my designs are also strung on polished genuine stones in which I’ve hand selected. Yes, these pieces are a bit more expensive, but they’re signed and only one of each exists. I’ve done a few commissions for some amazing women (I cannot disclose their names) and it’s an honor I don’t take lightly. Regardless of the identity of the wearer, please know I put my heart and soul into every original piece.
The purpose of my post has nothing to do with jewelry.
Yesterday, in preparation of hosting Easter lunch, I ventured to the grocery store. In all honesty, I probably should have taken anxiety medication before navigating down Cerrillos road. I don’t know if it’s because Santa Fe is a large retirement community or because the large number of uber wealthy people have nothing else to do, but both of the aforementioned groups drive at a snail's pace. Their driving of 25 MPH on highway and side roads almost puts me over the edge. Good gracious.
But it doesn’t stop there. This leisurely mentality continues in the grocery store. Let’s put it this way, I’ve been praying for God to give me clarity on a few issues and I’ve also been praying for more patience. My oh my, has He been giving me LOTS of opportunities to practice. Now I get the adage, “be careful what you pray for.” After channeling Mario Andretti, weaving around drivers and dodging the cruisers in the produce aisle, I was ready for a migraine of cosmic proportions. Finally, my loaded down squeaky cart and I limped to the checkout line. Victory! But it was there that I heard some of the saddest words ever.
As the young gentleman was swiping my purchases across the sensor and while I silently grumbled over the cost of everything from eggs to ice cream, he said in a bewildered tone, “I tell ya, I’ve never seen this store so crowded. I don’t know what in the world is up with this.” As one who loves chatting with people, I naturally replied, “Well, it's Easter, ya know, so many are doing big dinners.” I wish I find the words to describe the look on his face. His reply left me stunned for a few seconds. He said, “Ohhhhhh, is that what this weekend is? Sorry, I didn’t know.”
How could he not know that this weekend was Easter? I couldn’t get my head wrapped around it, for as a Christian, it’s the most important holiday of the year. It’s our celebration of Jesus being crucified, dying for our sins and rising on the Third Day. But this gentlemen had no clue. We forget that so many don’t understand. Later, I wondered about this gentleman’s past. Perhaps his parents had never told him about Easter, for they hadn't understand or chose to celebrate it either. Perhaps he'd only identified it with furry Easter bunnies and colored eggs. Perhaps he chose not to think about the true meaning of Easter for fear he wouldn’t understand it or even worse, feared he wasn’t even worth the love of a Savior. There were so many possible reasons for his, “Sorry, I didn’t know.”
But rather than chastise him for being so clueless, I simply said, “Ya know, it’s okay that you didn’t know. But this is the weekend that we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection and that he loves me and you soooo much! Remember that-- He think’s you’re absolutely awesome!” Even though he was required to wear a mask as a checkout clerk, nothing protected him from the tears that welled up in his eyes. With a broken voice he said, “You are the happiest person I think I’ve ever met. Thank you.” I simply looked into his pretty green eyes and said, “Well, now you know why! You have a blessed Easter, okay?” He just nodded, for I knew he didn’t really know what to say and that was perfectly fine.
I wheeled my groceries to my car and couldn't help but sit inside and cry. I also prayed for this sweet worker of whom I didn’t even know his name. But God knew. God also knew I wasn’t done learning patience and how to achieve clarity about my life.
Quite simply, it’s all about Jesus. None of our problems will vanish into thin air. Oh, how I so wish they would. But by focusing on him, remembering he died and rose for us-- regardless of the mess we made or are still in—we’re better equipped to wrangle many of our struggles to the ground. Sit in that space for a while. Reread that. One thing I know for sure, as I get older, the less I begin to judge the people like the grocery store cashier. I think twice before getting angry at the pan-handler on the street corner or that news anchor with whom I never agree. I don’t know their past. I’ve never stood in their shoes. There might even be something I could learn from them if I simply listened. I heard a pastor once say, “God will put a lesson in front of you time and time again until He is sure you’ve learned it.”
Yikes. I'm guilty of being a slow learner.
Will I sigh the next time I’m behind a slow Sunday driver in Santa Fe? Perhaps. But I’m gonna try to bite my tongue, turn on some calm music and wonder what their story is, for I have no clue. Oh, and the next time you’re at the grocery, smile and tell them you appreciate their help. Perhaps even give the bagging person a tip. (If you think they’re doing that job for fun, then, my friend, you are mistaken.) For sure, every time I tip them they look at me like I’m an alien. Oh, but that gives me an opportunity to smile and hope I’m doing what Jesus would do. He’d show them love in a way they didn't anticipate.
Show love this Easter. This writer is going lift her hands to Heaven and thank Him for paying the ultimate price for a crazy blonde hippy-chick who screws up on a daily basis. Just remember, you never know where you'll be taught a lesson from your ever-loving Father.
It might even be in the grocery line.
Brightest of blessings,
(Oh, and if you enjoy this post please share. Thanks so much!)