Friday, October 28, 2011

Dear Customer

The Shop Girl by James Tissot

Dear Customer,

     I would like you to know that I am a human being. Not a robot, not an angel, not a fixture on which you may scrape your boots. I'm aware of the nonverbal cues you are projecting. I detect tones, eye rolls, disgust, frustration, and a sense of superiority. I understand that you want what you want when you want it and that you are equally subject to having bad days, long days, and I-just-want-to-cry days. Please understand that for the most part, I really do have the utmost sympathy and when you mention that you've been up since four in the morning with a sick baby I do make it my mission to move things along more quickly. That said, there are a lot of other people at my place of work who all have to accomplish certain tasks before you receive the final product. And that takes time. There are also other customers that are waiting to be served. That takes time, too, and if they're in front of you I still have to wait on them first.

     In addition, please know that I am a person. I have a family and set of friends who love me. There are circles in which I have worth that is partially due to the gifts God has given me. I do not work behind this counter because I am too stupid or aim so low that I find myself here. I will not work in this place all my life, and I am not some sort of scum or idiot because I do right now. There's no shame in earning a living for oneself or saving until you can get to school. There's nothing to look down on in my youth. I don't pretend to know everything and am conscious of the fact that I make plenty of mistakes. If my mistakes affect your life, I truly am sorry. I sincerely do my best, but I too have my bad days, long days, and I-just-want-to-cry days.

     I am on the front lines representing my company to you and similarly in being your advocate to my superiors. Depending on the day and situation I may take heat from both sides. I am not the only one. Every sales clerk, service provider, rep, waitress, and telemarketer is in the same position. Absurd company policies annoy us just as much as you if not more so. Believe me.

     This message isn't for the purpose of procuring favors, thanks, or gratuity in any form. Just know that I have value, not because I think so or I demand you recognize it. I belong to God and this is where He has me in life at present. Therefore, I am content to serve.


A Front Counter Worker

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


     You'd think I'd know based on my own indecisiveness that being left to my own devices to choose a college would make for a long and painful process. As the saying goes, one step forward three steps back... or, in my case, one glorious moment of "this is it" whilst the heavens open up and angels are heard to sing to many, many evenings of despairing "I'd rather be incarcerated." And how does one choose, anyway?

Freehand touchpad artistry by yours truly
     It's a little frustrating, really. As a transfer student, I know what I want and don't have any misgivings regarding my calling. However, I'm also extremely picky when it comes to how schools view my subject of choice--namely, science education--and don't particularly want to put myself many hundreds of miles away from my family or my sweetheart. Bottom line, I have a short list of colleges that I'm interested in with no real desire to go and live on campus at any of them.

     Although, some useful things I have learned in my quest for perfection have been...
  • I'm not going to find it [perfection]
  • it's really important to read the Student Handbook before you start applying anywhere
  • I should run everything by a few select persons, but no one else until I know what's going on
     I'm not so good at the last one. With all the ways God has been faithful in my life, I know I'm being silly if I suspect He's going to leave me hanging in this area. And yet, there is a wide gap between knowing something and really truly knowing it. Kind of like the difference between having my best friend beside me and knowing he's there versus being side by side and holding hands. (Yes, we do on occasion! Bad, bad homeschooler...)

     In the end, I guess that's really what trusting God is though--taking His hand. At a crossroads like this, it makes sense more than ever. So, I suppose it's back to the spiritual discipline of waiting on Him. Much better than back to the drawing board, in any event.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Father

(Copyright Lucy Littleford)

     A friend recently mused aloud to me, did God make us to be pleased by creation or make creation to please us? I replied that I thought when God created, He put elements of His character into every piece of matter and so naturally we would be pleased by it. That's why He could say when He looked over it at the end of each day, He saw that it was good. It follows then as a matter of course, many of man's highest thoughts and noblest feelings would be stirred by observing nature--God's nature.

     That's part of what has drawn me into my field of study, I think. While I want to learn science to teach it and be able to make a stand for Biblical creation, I have enjoyed exploring a subject that fills me with awe and reference for my Father. Maybe I'm geeky for feeling most worshipful when I've got my bio textbook on one knee and my Bible on the other. I love writing scripture references in the margin of my textbooks and thinking of what wonderful truth there is that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in God's own image. Evolutionary ideas certainly cannot compare when it comes to having hope and purpose.

     With this all floating around in my head, I considered trying to hammer out a few lines of poetry. That used to be another pursuit of mine, but I've gotten a bit rusty of late. This is the raw concept that's been my meditation though...

My Father is the one who whispers to the plants to grow and flourish. (Genesis 1:11)
My Father is the one who chooses the garments of the lilies. (Matthew 6:29-30)
My Father is the one who stores up the snow until its appointed time. (Job 38:22)
My Father is the one who spoke light into existence and will banish darkness forever. (Genesis 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:8)
My Father is the one who carries healing in His wings. (Malachi 4:2)

     My Father emboldens the timid with His strength, makes low the proud, judges all peoples. None can stand before His awesome righteousness or see His glory and live. He is great enough to hold all the waters of the earth in the palm of His hand, to make the earth to tremble at His presence. Yet He has created a universe in such detail that with all of the intellect with which man has been gifted over several thousand years, we cannot come to the end of it either on a massive or a minute scale.

     And He, the one who is the Author of it all, entered into time and made Himself a servant for the fallen race He had created. This, so He could restore fellowship with mankind and call us His children, giving me the privilege to call Him Father by way of describing more of His grace. He is the God to whom I belong, the one whose finger prints I get to study when I look through a microscope at bacteria or cells or whathaveyou.

"Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." Psalm 139:3-6

"Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations." Psalm 33:8-11