Last night a coworker came into work and was very angry that she was assigned to the job assigned to her. She fumed for a half hour and told everyone she hated this part of her job and was angry that she was made to do it. Ann Voskamp writes of a similar situation in One Thousand Gifts. She was spending a quiet morning contemplating the simple beauty of the morning while washing dishes at her kitchen sink. It was quiet and she was looking in amazement at the colorful bubbles on her hands and the sound of spruce cones thumping buckets and the cackle of crows. Suddenly, her six children come in from the outside and they slam the door open, fling their coats and shoes off and fist fight and wail. Ann says, ” I feel my pulse quicken fierce…. breathe and I reel and I hold my ground and my tongue on the torrent coming down.”
This described me perfectly last evening listening to my coworker rail against the task set before her, but, like Ann, I held “my ground and my tongue on the torrent coming down”. Life is not an emergency: stay calm, enter the moment and give thanks. I did. For that half hour life moved in slow motion for me as I watched an animated coworker relieve herself of her anger. Once she was done she apologized. I merely sat with her as she said, “What is wrong with me? I am having a crappy day. I am just so annoyed. My husband said I had a stick up my butt. I had to go for a walk after he said that. I am really exhausted. I am trying to do too much and I am in pain and and and…” She debriefed her emotions so well. She was in the midst of planning her strategy and getting on with the tasks before her when I left.
I thank God that this time I could slow the moment and be of help, the kind of help Jesus called us to be. To be one who would listen and attend rather than react in argument is my heart’s desire. I am reminded that I have two ears and one mouth. It’s very simple, really, but, oh, so difficult to put into practice. Last evening I remembered.
All is grace,