Monday, January 26, 2015

The Rite Aid Counter Realization

It was one of those mornings...

When the boy is sick and there's no sleep and the coffee isn't enough and my heart hurts for reasons I cannot speak about, for fear of the tears falling.

I ache and I need for something I don't even have words for. It's a God shaped void that only God can fill. 

But life beckons. And people depend on me. So I take the girl to school and the boy home. I take the temp and give the meds and put a load of laundry in. 

I take him to the doctor. I get the script and head to the pharmacy.

The total is 77 dollars. It's a shocking amount for one bottle of medicine. 

I cry, right there in the pharmacy. Not because I cannot buy the medicine. I can. I'm able to reach my hand into my purse and pay for this medicine that will make my baby well.

 I cried because as I stood there, my heart connected with all of the women who had stood in my place at that counter, frantically adding up sums and counting pennies in their heads. Subtracting food from the weekly budget. Maybe adding up her own missed meals to counteract the expense of medicine to help her baby get better.

Women just like me. Mothers who want their kids to just be well.

I was standing in the same place hundreds of other moms have stood before. Suddenly I was humbled by my own short sightedness. 

Like tide, God rushed in to fill the void in my heart. 

I've experienced loss, yes. We all have to some degree. We've all been changed by the lives we've lived and the people we've lost.

I've been wronged, and I have wronged others. I've hurt and been hurt. 

My feet have walked paths carved out by others, and wandered on my own through placed untread.

I am the sum of my experiences, but I do not have to be defined by them.

When the wounds rise up in my heart and I'm tempted to sing my own sorrowful song I will remember that I am connected to all others in my world. When I am keeping my head down and watching my own feet, I am not looking for ways to serve others. I am blinded by my own worries... So much so that I miss the chance to carry the burden of somebody else. 

Motherhood is the greatest equalizer I have ever known. It is powerful and beautiful. We belong, each of us, to each other. We were created to serve and to give. We were made to love each other, support each other, and love each other's babies.

That small moment standing at the pharmacy counter was God given. I was meant to stand there at that very time, confusing the clerk with my tears. 

I was meant to say to her, this somewhat gruff woman- "I can afford this medicine. But what about people who CAN'T?" 

And she was meant to look at me with her own tears and say- "I see it everyday, honey."

In that moment we were both just humans, both mothers, and both feeling for others just like us. It was beautiful and terrible all at once. 

We are here in each other's spheres for a reason. I believe that. I know you are reading this not because of me, but because of God. Maybe because you are in the midst of your own sad day.(If so, hello. You are loved.)

Or maybe it's because you had your own counter moment.

Tomorrow I'm going to get my eyes off of my sad song and focus them on the horizon. I'm going to look people in the eyes and be kind. I'm going to be the text message that says "I love you" or the person in front of you paying for your coffee, because coffee is important and essential to un-sad a day. I'm going to be the one meeting your eyes and smiling. 

( You will be suspicious but I promise I'm harmless. Kind of. )

Will you join me? In three acts of kindness for three other moms? Maybe you will create your own counter moment for someone else. 

Radical un-sadness. Creating moments of grace for others.

Lets do this.