Lean a little closer. I have a confession to make. I am…not perfect. There. I’ve said it. It’s out. Let me share with you how not perfect I am.
The day after Christmas I have a return at the jewelry counter in Macy’s. My husband and kids are with me, along with every other mother, husband, and kid in Atlanta. The place is packed. I walk to the jewelry counter and hunt for an empty spot at the counter to perch. I want to look at rings.
We stand at the end of the counter and wait for an available associate. Just as the kids start to complain about standing there, a saleslady appears. We’ll call her Gertie Gold. “Hi, can I help you find something?” Gertie politely asks. “Why, yes, I’m looking to exchange a ring,” I tell Gertie and quickly give her the what and why of my exchange. She shows me a ring in the cabinet in front of me.
It’s WAY out of my price range, so I quickly hand it back. Before I can ask to see another, Gertie’s attention shifts to a couple of ladies who approach the counter with familiarity. They are either Gertie’s friends or regular customers. Without a word, Gertie turns her back and helps these two ladies.
Once I realize I am not getting any help, I cruise down the counter to look in the other cases. Gertie never looks my way. I wait in front of a set of rings I surely can’t afford but want Gertie to show me, nonetheless. She doesn’t come.
Finally, Gertie cruises past as she is helping yet another customer and asks, “Have you found anything yet?” This is where it got ugly. I replied in my best you-better-get-your-Macy-loving-self-over-here-this-instant voice, “Well, you know, I’m not sure. I don’t know the prices on anything.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll be right there. Just let me finish with this return,” Gertie gushed.
“Hmmph.” My kids were now sitting on the floor with their backs to the counter. My husband stood anxiously waiting to see how I would respond – the patient man. When Gertie finally reappeared, I was too haughty to look at anything and returned my ring out of spite.
“I hope she knows she just cost Macy’s $xxx,” I told my husband as we walked off. He just looked at me, and after almost twelve years of marriage, knew better than to respond.
I was ugly, y’all. Just plain ole’ ugly. Luckily my kids didn’t realize what happened, but I was miserable the rest of the day.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35 NIV
Ha! Poor Gertie had NO clue I was a disciple of Jesus. I certainly didn’t show her love. As quickly as I could get alone with God, I confessed my sin and asked forgiveness. But I still couldn’t get it out of my mind.
Go back to Macy’s and apologize. I felt the Holy Spirit speak the words to my heart. So, on my next trip to the mall, I trudged to Macy’s looking for Gertie.
Thankfully Sadly, she wasn’t there. I figured I had given it my best shot, and I was done with the matter.
God must laugh at me in times like this. Yesterday, I was at the mall again. In Macy’s. Minding my own business. When the Holy Spirit started speaking louder than the overhead music, Go back and apologize.
“Okay,” I got ready to make a deal with the Lord. “I’ll go by. If you really want me to apologize, then be sure she is there and make sure no one is at the counter.” By the way, don’t make a deal with God. He will win. He will make sure of it.
I walked to the jewelry counter in the very crowded Macy’s and found NO ONE there but Gertie. I waggled up (with my tail between my legs) and started, “Hi. I’m not sure if you remember me, but…” I recounted the whole story. She vaguely remembered me but didn’t remember I was rude. But she thanked me. “I can’t believe you would come all the way back to apologize to me.”
“This is the second time I’ve come looking for you,” I offered sheepishly, wanting her to know how important it was to me. Her face was priceless. She explained how people are often rude and no one had ever come back to apologize. “You’ve made my day,” she told me.
Maybe you’ve done something you are not proud of, as well. It’s never too late to make amends. Asking God to forgive you is the easy part. Sometimes forgiving yourself is the hardest of all. Is there someone you need to go to and make things right? Do it today. And if they ask you why you’ve decided to apologize, tell them this – By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35 NIV