Thursday, November 09, 2006

Help Me Rhonda, Help, Help Me Rhonda--I Need a Column Topic

I've got a column next Satuday, the 18th, and I don't have a column topic. I'm uptight about the block, but not this angry. This picture has to do with the story below, the one in italics.

A lot of times when I get stuck, if I walk outside, I get inspired. It was beautiful in Hoosierland today--clear skies, slight breeze, 67*. I took my little dog out for what may be her last long walk of the season. She stopped about every fifteen feet to check her "pee-mail." Apparently, she had a lot of messages in her inbox. Everyone in passing cars looks and points at her, and seems to say to the other person in the car, "Is that a dog?" She is so little she wears a guinea pig harness, not a leash.

The sun was so bright on the last leg of our 1/10 of a mile sojourn that I had my eyes half-shut most of the way home. But then I decided to see how long I could actually look at the sun. It was a torturous game, but fun. (Did I mention I'm actually 44 and not 4?) I was listening to "Open the Eyes of my Heart," and it inspired me to think of God's glory--how strong light, or maybe energy, emanates from one Being. I remembered how small our sun is and got goose bumps thinking of what the light and glory from the living God must be like. How will we ever survive being in his presence?

I have a rough draft for the column, but I'm not happy with it. It's nothing special. Here it is:

I’m thankful I don’t work in retail. Just knowing that “Black Friday,” one of the busiest shopping days of the year, is next week makes me want to hole up in my den and wait for spring. Or at least Christmas Eve.

Last year, I was in a check out line when a couple ahead of me began raising their voices at the cashier. No matter how politely she replied, they met her with nastiness and profanity. I was becoming more offended by the second and was just about to come to her defense when they tromped away. She was clearly shaken and embarrassed. I offered some kind words, but I could tell they didn’t comfort her much.

She explained that the reason she withstood their rant was because a few years earlier, her husband, a convenience store employee, had not been as compliant with an angry customer, and the customer shot and killed him. Then she told about moving back to Muncie and learning to live on her own. I was stunned.

The couple hadn’t seen the cashier as a person but as an object that wasn’t moving quickly enough or some such complaint. They had no idea how they were traumatizing her.

Since then, when I go through her line, I make sure to smile and be kind. She doesn’t remember me, but I remember her.

Kindness is one of the fruits of the Spirit Jesus spoke of in his Sermon on the Mount. And Proverbs 12:25 reminds us that "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." (NIV)

When you shop next week (and you know you will) even if your feet hurt, or you’re hungry, or tired, or financially depleted, be kind to sales associates. They’re doing the best they can in the holiday “theatre of war.” And for the sake of everyone in the active combat zone, make sure ALL of your items have price tags!


I also thought about writing about depression during the holidays. Another option is something I posted in September called "Perspective" that I could tweak. I'm just not feelin' this column yet. Anyone have any ideas?

10 comments:

Susanne said...

I know what you mean. I need to come up with something before Monday. You're about 100 steps ahead of me. I pray you find just the right words.

Carol said...

You may not be feelin' it, but I am. I'm sure there are many "sales associates" who would be grateful to know someone is out there trying to make their Black Friday a little more bearable.

I likes it.

Donna Lear said...

"The sun was so bright on the last leg of our 1/10 of a mile sojourn that I had my eyes half-shut most of the way home. But then I decided to see how long I could actually look at the sun. It was a torturous game, but fun. (Did I mention I'm actually 44 and not 4?) I was listening to "Open the Eyes of my Heart," and it inspired me to think of God's glory--how strong light, or maybe energy, emanates from one Being. I remembered how small our sun is and got goose bumps thinking of what the light and glory from the living God must be like. How will we ever survive being in his presence?"

This section is where God stopped me and said camp out here. It's the last leg of our trip home, the time when we will finally meet Him face to face. The closer we get the brighter the Light. How long can we look at the sun? Sounds like a question the moon must ask. If God is the greater Light are we not the lesser light? Like the moon we soak up His rays and are called to reflect back His image by providing Light in the darkness......? Are do we continually put blinders on our eyes like sun glasses on a bright day to simply shield our hearts from the Glorious Light of Truth? I know that this simple walk you've shared has rekindled a flame within me and I am hearing Him loud and clear as He opens the eyes of my heart.

Tis the season when we should be shouting "Arise and Shine for The Light has Come!" Today your words have inspired me to dwell on the Sun of Righteousness as He rising up in my heart with healing in His wings...I pray that this season people remember the true "black Friday" when Christ died and gave the world the most incredible gift ever given.....you can't buy that. But we can wait on Him, in line with His Word, not grumbling and complaining but filling our hearts with His goodness for out of the abundance of the heart a man speaks...Today I can hear Him saying to this couple through the quietness of the cashier....Father Forgive them for they no not what they do! Thank you Linda...for inspiring Me! May God return the Word to you because you have so freely given....Whatsoever a man soweth so shall he reap and today you have sown the Word into my heart....it shall not return void to you.....Listen you have an ear to hear...
Deu 33:14 And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon,
You like the moon relecting the light of the sun having His image in your words have provided me with precious fruit today...

Pulling off the dark shades of my soul and meditating upon His Word...Psalms 19:1-14

Maggie said...

Your picture doesn't seem much like your writing and style of voice. I can't figure out why. Hmmm. Random comment or what?

Jenmomof4 said...

I love that story!! Can I link to you next week so everyone can read it before they go out shopping?? Jennifer

Linda said...

Susanne, I hope you feel more inspired than I do. Thanks for your support; I'm supportin' you too . . . where will you post?

Linda said...

Carol, thanks for the encouragement. I may use this after all; it seems to have touched a cord.

Linda said...

Donna, I have read your post twice, and am so blessed by your thoughtful response. It is causing me to go back and reflect on your points. Thanks for being so inspiring.I'm so glad you visited here.

Maggie said...

:-D

Not sure. The browns, the solid comments and the convincing words...thoughtful, unoffending words (humorous at times, but unoffending).

and then the picture

It just doesn't match.
Why not?
I ask myself every time I visit.

Jenmomof4 said...

thanks for coming to visit my blog. Come back and scroll down. I am having a contest. Jennifer