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Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Examined In The Waiting Room

“Our work as God’s servants gets validated-or not-in the details.  People are watching us…” Excerpt from 2 Corinthians 6 (The Message)

I entered the baby blue shoebox-sized office to be promptly shooed away to a steel framed chair.  “Well good morning, Sunshine,” I murmured as I slid down into my seat.  “Sunshine” beckoned me once for the insurance card hokey-pokey and then pointed to the same chair I left just moments ago.  And there I waited.  

Twenty minutes passed when a pleasant nurse called me back, checked my vitals and placed me in an examination room.  My doctor conducted a thorough examination and provided a great report. Yes!
My delight swiftly became dread as I approached the check-out counter.  Ugh, there she is again.  I waited silently, being blatantly ignored; not even eye contact!  “Sunshine” was in the middle of an intimate file tango and my presence was clearly an undesired interruption.

Take a deep cleansing breath, I commanded myself as I examined my surroundings.  Lo and behold a subtle delight returned when my eyes observed the McDonald’s iced coffee that rested next to her.
Ah, yes! When…IF…I get out of here…I’m hitting the Golden Arches to get a free iced coffee with the coupon waiting patiently in my wallet!

I dug into my purse, pulled out my wallet and obediently stood at attention until I could pay and escape.  Immediately, conviction dropped on me as fast as a new mother tends to her baby’s peep.  I reached into my wallet, pulled out my precious coupon and thought, Yes God, I will.

Gulp. “I see you like those iced coffees too.  Here, take my coupon for a free one.” 
She looked up at me.  Her strained brown transformed into a pleasant and familiar double arch.  We chatted easily for the next ten minutes in friendly conversation and parted with wide smiles.  You know, the way friends do.  

No, there wasn’t an opportunity to tell her about my faith, but I did get to show her what it looked like.  That moment wasn’t about her grumpiness or my initial negative reaction.  It was about my choice to be more like Christ, even when I really didn’t want to.  God used that opportunity to show me it is more important how I behave while I wait, than how I behave while I am examined.  How I wait is a front row view of who I really am.

You know what it cost me? Well, depending on the size, $1.69 or $1.99 (plus tax)…no, it cost me my pride.  I decided to swallow a calorie-free portion of pride rather than a free iced java. 
Yes, the doctor examined me in the examination room that day.  But even more importantly, God examined my character in the waiting room.  And, in both rooms, the test results came out just fine.

Steph's writing has appeared in Proverbs 31 Ministry, P31 Woman magazine.  In her free time she can be found encouraging numerous MOPS group in the northern Virginia area on the "Colorful Art of Friendship - Allowing God to Paint the Masterpieces" and MOPS leaders on "Being a Bright Light".

Steph can be found blogging at www.encouragedinheart.org or on Facebook at Stephanie Fink or on her Facebook page Encouraged in Heart - Stephanie Fink.  She loves big hair, big cups of coffee and big bear hugs.

*(Previously published in November 2009 in P31 Woman magazine.)



Blogger Kristen said...

I knew it was Steph writing before I even got to the second paragraph! Love her style and hearing her voice!

July 31, 2011 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Steph said...

God's still working on me in the waiting department! Thankful that He loves and accepts me as He refines! Thankful to share my story here! :-)

July 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Love it!!!! It's amazing how one act of pure kindness,no matter the size of that kindness, can change someone! A great way to SHOW God's Love for us by quietly sharing it.
Thanks for the inspiration you constantly give others.

July 31, 2011 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

steph, i love this post. this is so true, and something i have been convicted about more and more lately. Jesus was perfect in every way, and still He was executed as a criminal. He set the most perfect example of sacrificial love for others, no matter how they treat us....what a completely radical and crazy way to live in this country and this American "it's all about me" culture.

July 31, 2011 at 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Mim said...

you helped that woman in ways you'll probably never know about that day by taking a breath and showing her that kindness. way to go!!

July 31, 2011 at 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great story that we all need to hear about patience! Thanks for sharing!!

August 1, 2011 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger CreativeAdventureMom said...

Luv this article

August 9, 2011 at 2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your heart is so full and pours out to others just as Jesus heart does. I'm sure Jesus is smiling down on you just as you shared a smile with another. Kathy D.

August 11, 2011 at 7:27 PM  

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