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
I’m so thankful for a God who always forgives, and it is a blessing when come across a “Gertie” who readily forgives as well.
What you did was hard, but I know you made God’s day too. 😉
What a great story….and a great example to us all (especially to your kids!)
You gave me a good chuckle! I’m proud of you for going back! I had a similar assignment one day and I wrote a note to the person (with flowers). SHE READ THE NOTE OUT LOUD IN FRONT OF SOMEONE. My flesh was burning. I’m surprised the smoke alarm didn’t go off! lol
I am so hooked on this blog, thank you for such authentic writing. I had a similar experience with an insurance representative over the phone. We weren’t understanding and he started mocking me and I was sarcastic right back. We sorted through it all, got it all straightened out, and we both apologized. At the end of the hour long call, he was laughing. Taming the tongue, so hard for me, thank you again for your authentic example.
That little voice can be so insistent sometimes! I’m glad you listened…it must have really brightened her day. Imgaine the story she told that night when she went home to her family…
I have always loved your heart of obedience. 🙂 I know you blessed Gerite’s day! And you got to give the enemy a good kick in the teeth. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy day, but it was a good day indeed. 🙂
Great job! I know that was hard for you and many people (including myself) would most likely have missed that opportunity with excuses, justifications, pride, etc.
Thanks for sharing such transparent humility. :>)
Yes, Lord, I will do it. . .Yes, I was so rude on the phone 3 months ago to a gal in my doctors office. I called back to apologize and couldn’t reach her. I asked the office manager to please tell her I was sorry. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I’m going in today. I will look her up. Yes Lord, I will do it.
What a great testimony! Thanks for sharing this. Your humor made me giggle because this happens to me too. 🙂
That was sweet how she said you made her day. Who knew apologizing could feel so good. You are a nice lady to apologize.
Awesome. 🙂 I read your story to my daughter. We were both impressed that you went back TWICE to apologize.
Thanks for the reminder, and the example!
What an encouragement to us all! Thank you for sharing with us. Sometimes we think, “oh… WHY did I do that?!” =) In those times we can be reminded …. “what can wash away my sins? …. nothing but the blood of Jesus” … That dependence is highlighted. We need Thee every hour.
Carry on, Sister.
Wow. Perfect timing. Tonight I read my two little ones the story of Jonah and the whale and emphasized the fact that God told Jonah to do something, but Jonah didn’t want to do it, and he ran away.
I told the story of an ugly look I gave to an impatient lady at swim practice last summer and how God told me that I needed to go apologize to that lady. In fact, God kept putting that lady in every place that I was…just so that I wouldn’t forget what He told me to do.
I kept thinking about how embarassing it would be to apologize to this lady…kind of like what Jonah might have been thinking…how embarassing to go to those strangers and tell them that he had a message from God Himself.
I did finally apologize to the lady, and she didn’t even remember the event that I’d been thinking about over and over. But that wasn’t important.
Great post, great humility. What a great mom you are!