Friday, February 6, 2015

Reality Check: Get over Your Sulky Self

The other day, I was tired and just wanted to go home, but I had to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy.  We have a new health insurance as of February 1, so I knew it would take longer than usual while they ran everything through under our new plan.  Though I’d called in the refill the day before, they didn’t have the prescription ready. 

It was less than 10 minutes before the woman at the counter determined that our new plan doesn’t cover anything through their particular pharmacy chain.  Oh wonderful!  Not only was I taking up this busy woman’s time, but I wasn’t even her problem anymore.

The second pharmacy I went to had an equally long line at pick-up, but there was only one person ahead of me in the drop-off/consultation area.  I decided I was going to walk down to A.C. Moore.  I texted Kevin to let him know of the latest development in our ongoing healthcare saga, but he was at work, so I knew he wouldn’t get the message until his shift had ended and/or perhaps not until he checked his phone once he was sitting across from me at home.  (It wouldn’t be the first or the last time this has happened even after we finally got smartphones last month.)   
Bright, beautiful colors so deep you could get lost in them inspire me as do arts supplies, project ideas, and décor items.  My imagination was working.    Of course I’d managed to leave the A.C. Moore coupon I’d printed out the other day at home, so I didn’t buy anything, but it was fun to look.  (When telling Kevin about this he reminded me I could have just pulled the coupon up on my phone.  Yeah, we’re new to this whole smartphone thing.  That didn’t even occur to me as an option.)  In this case, looking and liking did move me, though.

I went back to get my prescription.  No line this time. I only had to wait 10 minutes tops before they were finished filling it.  I didn’t have the energy to do any grocery shopping, though I knew we needed some things.  I just wanted to get home. 

I was sighing and whining on the inside as I hauled my stuff from my car.  Then everything changed.

I saw one of our neighbors ahead of me.  This woman had a stroke decades ago and basically only has use of one side of her body now.  She lives alone, has no family in this state, loves the color purple, and usually walks wherever she needs to go.  

Here was an elderly woman before me who had just walked several blocks to and from a nearby pharmacy in the cold of winter.  She held her cane in the hand she can still use, her purse hung around her neck, and her coat was only half on since she can’t get her other arm into the sleeve.  I felt absolutely ridiculous for having even the smallest pity party for myself.  

Our neighbor dropped her cane on the ground as she attempted to punch in the pass code and hold her bag.  I picked it up and held the door open for her.  I gently reminded her that Kevin and I are happy to give her a ride to the store whenever she needed to go, and she responded as though our previous offers were but a distant, faded memory for her. 

I’d certainly been put in my place.  I have a job, health insurance, food, shelter, clothing, a car, a husband that loves me, and God who provides the grace needed for a temporarily self-centered, ungrateful wretch like me to remember all of that when I see Christ in distressing disguise before me. 

Lord, I can be so incredibly blind to the needs of others sometimes.  I get so focused on my own feelings, wants, and needs, I'm oblivious to ones that are equally (or even more) important around me.  Please open my eyes, heart, and mind to those around me who are in need.  Let me love them and care for them as You do.  Amen.    
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