So the past week or so I've been in a funk. Probably because I've been stressed (mostly eustress) planning Parker's baptism. I'm filled with emotion as my oldest boy turns 8. Where the heck has the time gone? I have tried to savor every stage, but there been days I can't wait til bedtime. I've been told that's normal.
I was getting groceries for after the baptism and I had a cart overflowing with food. It took forever to load it in the car. While I was organizing and trying to fit it in my car, I saw two little boys push a cart out of the store. They were probably 14 and 9. They walked over to a white pontiac vibe parked next to me and started talking to the driver- an elderly man. He instantly started yelling at them; asking "what is that?" "show me everything you got" "why would you get that?" "that wasn't on the list" "that's going back, and that's going back" "give me the receipt" "it wasn't that hard".... on and on and on and on it went as I played tetris with my groceries. It was impossible to ignore.
The boys went back into the store with the things they needed to return (thinks like laundry detergent and spaghetti sauce, not snickers and koolaid) and to fetch the elbows they forgot. The older one quipped, "I'll return this stuff, but I have no idea what elbows are." The elderly man tried to explain it, but was rude and vague to the boys.
I don't know if I was so emotional because they were two boys or what, but my heart broke as I heard him talk to them over and over, belittling in tone. I finished soon after the boys went back in. I returned my cart, got in my car and turned the key to start the car. I prayed for inspiration on what to do. I wanted to go and yell at that man, "do you realize they are trying to help you?!" "Not trying to be rude, but the way you talked to those boys in unacceptable." A million negative things came into my mind.
I've really been trying to work on following promptings since there have been times in my life where I haven't listened and have sorely regretted it.
I put it in drive and drove away. I, without thinking, made a circle and parked back in my spot. I had to do something. I got it! I jumped out of the car and headed back into the store. The boys were in sight. I finally caught up to them and said "I'm sorry but I overheard your conversation and he was pretty mean to you guys, I'd like to help you. What do you need to get now? (even though I knew)" They told me they needed elbows, and I showed them where they were. I made sure that they didn't need anything else, and that I would help them if they did. They assured me that they just needed to return those and get the elbows, they thanked me. My heart smiled.
I walked to the exit, now thinking what to say to him. I prayed for the right words. I walked over to him. There was a little black girl in the backseat, as I walked up to the car she smiled and waved. Sweet one. I said, "I showed your boys where the elbows were." I braced myself for his response. "Oh! Thank you!" He said cheerfully. I then learned that he has been really sick and usually goes in, but just couldn't today. I cheerfully said that I understood and I hope he felt better.
I walked away and I heard the little girl say, "That lady was so nice."
I got in my car and cried. Overwhelmed with emotion. I was so grateful that I was able to do the right thing. I was grateful that instead of just thinking how I could help, I actually helped. I hope that I brightened their day and lightened their load just a little. Seriously, that's what life is all about. We aren't our brother's keeper, but we are our brother's brother.
Now, go do some good. :)