So, I haven't blogged in a while and had some good ideas - but I decided to blog about my little trip to WalMart this morning first.
For several years, I hated WalMart. It seems every time I went, something stupid happened - like waiting in line for 30 minutes to buy one $5 item. But when I moved back to Austin, it turns out I was next to a rather nice new WalMart that is never very busy. And I love it, because it is cheaper than even HEB, and I can get in and out with everything I need in one quick trip.
Yesterday I was feeling pretty good. I had gone to a good friend's wedding, and got to see a lot of my friends that I haven't seen in a while (some of them, years!). Weddings aren't the easiest thing in the world for me, but I made it and was having a good time. Last night I watched The Dark Knight (the new Batman) with a friend who was staying with me. I was sneezing quite a bit, but I assumed it was allergies.
Well, I woke up at about 4am with my throat on fire. "This can't be!" I thought to myself. I've had a flu shot, I wash my hands, I take vitamins. Not to mention that after being sick frequently as a kid, and then again as a teacher, I thought I should have built up immunity to almost everything.
I got out my mirror and looked, hoping maybe it was just drainage or sleeping with my mouth open that had made my throat sore. But it was not to be! I had my tonsils taken out when I was 17 - but you'd have thought I still had them the way my throat was red and swollen. Not good!
So after I saw my friend off, I took a shower, which helped. Then I went to WalMart. Now, one thing WalMart does that I generally respect is that they let organizations petition customers outside the door. Some are more annoying than others - but they generally don't bug you more than once. So I went inside for my orange juice, Dayquil, Zicam, soup, and bath salts (nothing beats a Spearamint/Eucaliptus soak when your head is messed up). I zipped through the self-checkout and was on my way.
One of the women sitting outside said her thing, something about giving money to their organization (a local church actually) and I said "Not today." No big deal.
For whatever reason, she got an attitude with me (really effective outreach method by the way) and said "Well, you bought groceries!"
Seriously? I stopped dead in my tracks - "Excuse me?" (what I was really thinking was "excuse you?"). she repeated her sarcastic little quip - "You had money for groceries." Unbelievable. Here I am, sick, actually going outside my grocery budget at the end of the month because I needed some things I wouldn't normally get.
Now, while I'm not a pillar of patience, and I have been known to be a little hot headed (I am a redhead) ... I feel like I did a pretty good job of keeping my cool. Being sick makes me grumpy. I looked at her, and I said "There are two problems here. The first is, you are assuming that because I am not giving you money right now that I am not a charitable person. The second is that I'm sick, and I'm really tempted to come over there and sneeze at you." And I left. Not the most gracious thing I could have done, but I was annoyed!
I know my little loss of patience didn't teach them anything. But really, is their attempted guilt-trip method effective? And does that teach anyone about God's grace? If I were someone looking for a church home, that definitely wouldn't be one I would attend. Next time I'll write a happier blog :) For now, I'm going to snuggle up with some juice and ginger ale, warm soup, a box of Kleenex, a book, and my remote control.