“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.”
I have long been a loyal customer of Trader Joe’s grocery stores. Not just because the stores are small and I can find things easily without too many distractions, but because the employees are so friendly and chatty. Its astounding the amount of personal information that can be shared back and forth while the cashier is ringing up a customer. I’m sure there are cases where best friendships or romances have been established before the groceries are bagged and out the door.
Today, I wasn’t even at my local shop, but at the one in my mom’s neighborhood, where I am not as familiar with the clerks. (I still found everything without help though!) Somehow, my cashier and I started joking about how some people complain about the smallest things: customers complaining about their favorite foods being out of stock or having to wait in an extra long line. First-world problems, really.
Anyway, I managed to tell him the nutshell of how—though I couldn’t judge petty-complainers (I’ve been one before and no doubt I’ll be one again)—I’d experienced a perspective-changing event in the past year, so now I didn’t see small issues in the same light.
Before the transaction was done (I swear I didn’t buy THAT many groceries…sometimes meaningful conversations seem to transcend the time allotted for them) he nodded sympathetically and told me how he and his wife had lost their own 4 year old daughter to a brain tumor years ago. And that though it was tragic, it had changed their view of life…that his family found they no longer got caught up in the small dramas in life, that they felt they saw things more clearly, and he was absolutely sure she was safer where she was and that without a doubt, he would see her again on day. He missed his daughter, obviously, but he had such a light in his eyes and a smile on his face as he ran my card and went about his job. I felt privileged to have gone through his line…and when I left he asked for Vernon’s name so he could pray for him.
And so my perspective deepened again.
*The kids and I had a painting night tonight, something we haven’t intentionally done since early after the accident. The glasses above were my offering at the table. But Justine and Maki did wonderful things of their own…they just didn’t fit the theme of this blog entry, or I would have shown them off as well. xo