March 23, 2009

Blue Ticket Number Four

It's been two years since I bought my brand spankin' new car. We buy the best cars we can afford and get ones that last, keeping them for 10-15 years.  This one should last past the rapture and someone's gonna get a nice car when I'm gone. Till then I'm enjoying my new wheels. Anyway, the tags expire this month so off to the lovely license bureau we went to renew the plates. 

I shouldn't complain about going to the license bureau but I don't know anyone who enjoys such a trip. I will say it's better than years past. When Dani was a little girl, Autistic as all get out, our cars had us visiting the bureau on a bi-annual basis because we had to renew every year. Back then there was no seating, just one long line that stretched out the door and down the side walk. Dani would get restless as we crept our way to the counter and invariably do something embarrassing. Like the time she got to eying the back of a man's crotch who was standing a tight  12" in front of us. With the Autistic wheels of her brain in high gear she suddenly reached forward and gave him a goose that sent him hoppin'. Turning around to face the source, he and I met eye to eye. Uncomfortable and at a loss for words, I did what any mother of a gooser would do. I apologized with a simply sorry. To this day I think he thinks I did it.

By the grace of God we now have a new bureau building. Up-to-date and modern we have tickets to measure our estimated time of wait, seats to sit in, CNN news on two tv's, advertisements on the wall to read, coffee to drink, and a vending machine to snack it up. Everything anyone would ever need to withstand the wait and avoid a good goose. But, even with all these amenities the workers don't seem much happier. In fact while waiting we noticed a young girl calling out ticket numbers who sighed and moaned like an old leaky tired. She was clearly having a bad day and didn't bother hide it. Her drama was so apparent I remember thinking, "I sure hope we don't get her" to which she promptly hollered, "Blue ticket number four!" and off to the counter we went.

I handed the girl my required papers along with a complimentary smile and happy hello. Sometimes a kind smile can diffuse a negative tone like nothing else can and to my utter surprise I was pleased to see it worked. Before I knew it Dani was reaching over the counter to shake her hand (thankfully no threat of a goose) and was signing all sorts of little things to her. Lo and behold, like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, the young girl began to smile. Her face relaxed and her shoulders loosened until soon it was clear she was a truly nice person, she just didn't like her job and felt no conviction to hide it. 

As I stood at the counter looking down on this young girl, I couldn't help but put myself in her shoes. I wouldn't fancy her job either. The sheer thought of every customer looming over my head as they complained about taxes, tags, and time of wait made me cringe, much like the goosed man from yesteryear. I might not have acted much better had I had that job in my youth because only now, ripened with age, do I understand the importance of doing all work, even the mundane and irritating, to the best of my ability. Called to emit a sweet fragrance, I must never piece the ears of those around me like an old worn out tire. These qualities, however, often don't come naturally. Instead, they develop with age and knowledge of the word of God, which is why I am glad to be 49 and not 19. Every age spot, wrinkle, and grey hair represents one step further in my walk with the Lord and for that I am grateful. 

Oh, how I pray this young girl at the bureau grows to know the Lord each passing year. I really think she has potential. Glory knows if God can take a quick tempered selfish little twerp like myself and turn me around to walk by His side, He can certainly draw her near as well.


Abba's Girl said...

Amen! Many govt workers make our lives easier and their jobs are thankless in many ways. You and Dani brought the Lord's joy and love to her that day.

Cheryl Barker said...

Funny goose story, Nancy :)