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In Which I Have Patience. And Am Kind.

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, October 11, 2014

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In Which I Have Patience. And Be Kind.

I like to people-watch. I enjoy it! When I sit in a coffee shop, browse at a book store, even walk outside, down a busy sidewalk. All prime places to people-watch. I know, through experience.

My husband and I went to a coffee place nearby, this afternoon. It was a mom-and-pop establishment, later on a Saturday afternoon. Quiet, not many patrons in the shop. An older couple, seated a little way from the cash register. A younger man on his laptop, at the counter facing the window. A knot of men speaking Italian, heads close together.

As the two of us approached the cash register to order, we both noticed the bag casually slung under the table. A clear Chicago Marathon bag sat at one of the men’s feet. Including the official entry form and number. Was he from Italy, I wondered? What was his story? Were any of the others running in the Marathon tomorrow? All this flashed through my head in a split second while I considered what to drink. Waited for the woman ahead of us to finish and pay.

It didn’t look hopeful. For a quick turnaround at the cash register, that is. The young person working the cash register apparently was a new hire. Not familiar with the register, not used to the menu, not that facile with the money. My husband and I were patient, slowly giving our order. (One simple coffee drink, one tea. No frills. Straightforward.) We gave it again. And again. And, one more time.

We decided to sit down. We did not have a time crunch, or anywhere particular to go or do at that time, so we pulled up chairs. (Next to the men speaking Italian, by the way.) We watched the proceedings, and made editorial comments. Not particularly snide ones, either. My husband surprised me by relating a story about his dry cleaners, and how something similar had happened there just this morning. They somehow misplaced my husband’s order. My husband patiently waited, standing quietly. Just standing, not upset, not distraught. He could see the lady behind the counter get a bit frazzled. However, the clean clothes were simply misplaced. All was well, at last.

But, that was at the dry cleaners. This afternoon at the coffee shop was another story. We waited. And waited some more. Finally, another young person brought my husband his tea, and then about two minutes later, my coffee. Out of habit, more to double check than anything else, I asked whether it was decaf. Crestfallen, the young person said, “No, it’s caffeinated,” and disappeared. I waited even longer. Finally. I got a coffee drink, decaffeinated, at last.

I wondered just now. Does God ever get impatient with me? God knows, I give God plenty of reason to get impatient and upset. Even disgruntled. Thank You, God, for not getting impatient and angry with me.

@chaplaineliza

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