How Would You Rate Your Life?

Posted: March 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

I recently read an article by Michele Starkey, entitled My Life is “G” Rated. In it she tells the story of a woman who was ranting and raging in a local convenient store. Michele offered to pray for the woman in hopes that her day would get better.

At first Michele’s comment enraged the woman even more, but before she left the store, the woman tapped Michele on the shoulder and thanked her. Apparently Michele’s decision to pray for the woman impacted the woman in a positive way.

Her story reminded me of the time I worked in a hospital at the main appointment desk. Patients called in requesting appointments, and I, along with three other women, scheduled their appointments in various clinics throughout the hospital.

One day, as on every other day, a woman called in requesting an appointment. But when this woman didn’t get the date she wanted, she became belligerent and started screaming at me from the other end of the phone. After a while, her relentless screaming, swearing, ranting, and raging caused me so much stress, I could feel the veins in my head exploding.

The woman was so irate, in fact, that I couldn’t interrupt her to tell her I had no authority to bump another patient to get her in earlier, nor would I want to, considering her treatment of me.

Her swearing elevated and her anger burned smoke through the telephone. I, too, was getting more and more flustered as each angry word stabbed me with contempt.

In exasperation, I calmly (with gritted teeth) told her, “You know, I can either make this appointment for you or I can NEVER schedule an appointment for you. Your choice.”

I could feel my own rage increasing as I continued. “NOBODY deserves to be treated the way you’re treating me!” I roared into the phone.

Now I was shouting, “Do you understand me?” My whole body was shaking with anger as I waited for her venomous response.

Silence. I wondered if she had hung up on me, until I heard soft sobs erupt into convulsive gasps. “I’m so sorry,” she gasped through the sobs. “My husband (gasp, gasp) just died, and I think I just (gasp, gasp) needed to get it out. You’re right. You didn’t deserve it.”

Now I felt horrible and I apologized to her for losing my temper. She eventually calmed down and we ended the conversation with an appreciation for each other than we might never have had if I hadn’t stuck up for myself and if she hadn’t admitted her reason for mistreating me.

But because of her, I learned to recognize that outbursts like hers could be the result of tragic occurrences, and I learned how to be more compassionate.

Another time, a woman came in to make an appointment in a clinic that was very difficult to get into. She knew the routine, but I had also just learned how to get around all of the red tape. So I jumped through all of the necessary hoops and came back to where she was standing at the big marble desk with an appointment for her.

She grabbed my hand and said, “Thank you so much for doing this for me. May God bless you a hundred-fold for your kindness.”

I do not remember her face or her name, but I do remember that moment and I thank God for having ever met her.

Some of us don’t live “G” rated lives until we have experienced “R” rated or even “X” rated lives – experiences that have done nothing to improve our spirituality. All we can hope for is that we learn to be compassionate, empathetic, and loving, even if it means confronting our lack of compassion, empathy, and love with people who unwittingly teach us lessons about how we want – and need – to live our lives.

I leave you with a comment I found in my email from DP Motivation: “I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life — whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others; and most of all, I can choose my thoughts.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

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  1. Linda Johnson says:

    This is a wonderful post — thank you. God has been talking to me about forgiveness of those who “sin against me.” It’s hard.

    • theresawiza says:

      I often find that even when I don’t know I need to learn a lesson, God figures out a way to send me just the right person or just the right words at just the right time.

  2. Nancy says:

    Love you, love your writing

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