He is doing it on purpose.
Before my husband died, I refused to go inside a restaurant or drive through to place an order. I hated it, I had weird phobias about it, I wouldn’t go. if they waited on me, they would be going hungry. I had this insane, debilitating, fear of screwing up and looking less than intelligent. So, I refused and either my husband or son would take care of getting our food. Even after my husband died, if my son wanted fast food, he went after it himself.
Then came the pandemic. Then every restaurant became take out, drive thru only. Then my son started having days when he couldn’t leave work they were that busy. (Actually I’m sure he could, he just won’t so as not to get further behind.) He called me one day and asked if I would go by a certain fast food place and get something for him. He told me exactly what he wanted. I bit the bullet and went, and survived. Then he asked me again, and again. It really isn’t easy for him to ask me to do this (so don’t tell him I wrote this) but I don’t mind. I would rather do this than him go hungry. Only once have I gone into a place and them not have what he wanted due to having been taken off the menu. Up until today he has been asking me to go places that I can use the drive through. Where he sent me today, has no drive through. I had to drive to the place, find a spot to park that I could easily back out of and …gasp…go inside. I was greeted by a smiling, friendly lady who took my order and told me it would be just a few moments. I had gone not long after opening so while there were diners there, it wasn’t super busy. I got his food, went next door after the energy drink he wanted and then headed for his place of employment.
I really believe, he is finding these places for two reasons. One of course is to not have to eat the same thing too often. The other is to get me out of the house and going into places he knows I wouldn’t otherwise go into. I do have to give him credit though, I’m not as afraid about doing it as I once was.
After I got back from taking my son his lunch I knew it wouldn’t be long before I had to go walk my parent’s dog. They had gone out for the morning and mom asked me to walk the dog if they weren’t back by a certain time. They weren’t. I go down and leash up the dog and head outside. My two dogs saw me and started barking. Mom’s dog thought going up to pay them a visit would be a good idea, it isn’t. I wouldn’t even allow her to look as if she was so much as thinking about going in that direction. She was not happy. My dad always lets her go where she wants, I should also. Mom’s dog is a canine Karen. Who did finally give in and walk in the other direction. All of her needs taken care of and her back in the house and I head for home.
A little later when mom and dad get back, I have to go for groceries. Once upon a time, I didn’t wear shorts around the house, much less out somewhere. This not working thing, this no dress code thing, I went for my groceries wearing shorts and a tank top. And felt no shame.
Back in the pet food area, I was trying to find the treats that my dogs like. All I could find was for small/medium size dogs. There was an employee close who was opening boxes of merchandise. I saw a bag up on a top shelf and asked if he could tell whether it was for large dogs or just another bag of small. He couldn’t tell and he couldn’t leave what he was doing. He actually almost appeared nervous about talking with me. If the employees there work in that type fear, I’m glad I don’t work there. I grabbed a bag of the small size treats thinking this week I’ll give them two each instead of the one large. I actually manage to find everything else I was looking for.
Finished up and headed to pay. I had timed it right. While she finished up the lady in front of me, I started putting my purchases up on the belt. We chatted a bit, I’m getting better at this talking with strangers thing (thanks son), then it was my turn. She was in the process of ringing my stuff up when the cashier at the next register had a question. She ended up having to walk around to her to try and help, apologizing multiple times to me. I wasn’t in any hurry, I was in a good mood, I would hope that should I find myself in that situation that help would come quickly.
Groceries rung up I headed for the door. I had two big bags of pet food, I figured I’d be stopped and my receipt checked but I wasn’t. I got to the car, everything inside and cart put in place. After I got home and got everything put away, I made some coffee and sat myself down.
Before the afternoon was half way over, a storm came up. At first it was just rain and I wasn’t letting my poor, pitiful, crying dogs inside. It was just rain, they could wait it out on the front porch. Then it thundered…loudly. I thought poor Bella was going to come out of her skin. I let both dogs inside and got them calmed down. By the time the storm had passed it was past time my son should be headed home. He had ridden his motorcycle to work. He drives among, shall we say, less that stellar drivers. And it was pouring rain. Even though the actual storm has passed on toward Charlotte, it was still raining. When he finally pulled in, he wasn’t soaked as I thought he would be. He told me that he didn’t run into rain until he got less than a quarter mile from the house.
Here we are, hours later, I still hear thunder ever so often from the north. They must be getting hammered over that way because a few moments ago a flash flood warning came up on my phone for that area. Here though, the crickets are making a joyful noise and the after the storm breeze is coming in the windows.
I have time to reflect.
If I am honest here, I am a creature of habit that finds a comfort zone and stays there no matter what. I stayed at a job where I was not really the happiest because I knew the job and I liked most of my coworkers. Not counting the fact that it was really close and traffic was usually light between work and home. Then the pandemic took my job, but, as I have said before, my parents needed me. I wouldn’t have just up and quit for them because of having bills that needed to be paid. Unemployment kept me afloat until I finally just retired.
I have this fear of getting lost so unless I have been somewhere enough that I know the way, I refuse to go alone. Then I had an abscessed tooth that had to be taken care of, which meant finding a dentist. I made the appointment, and on the date I was to go, brought up the directions on my phone. That refused to talk to me. I ended up going in circles but I found the office. The other day, I mentioned finding out about a health fair. I glanced at maps, had a pretty good idea where it was and headed out. I missed the road, but ended up finding it anyway.
And then, my son and his not getting to leave for lunch.Knowing I don’t want him going hungry, even though its obvious that he doesn’t like asking, he does. Because of this, I am doing something I had flat out refused to do for so long. And the good part, the fear is almost completely gone.
There are people who don’t want to share their faith, because they don’t know how people will react. And while talking about one’s faith is important, living one’s faith is even more so. People see how you act, long before they hear your words. If your actions and words don’t match up, they will not want to hear anything you say. What if I had gotten all bent out of shape over the employee who couldn’t help me, or the one who stepped to the other register to assist that cashier? What if, during my moments of rude actions of entitlement, someone was watching? If someone had witnessed me demanding someone help me even at the risk of them getting in trouble, would they then want to hear me turn to them and tell them about my faith? About loving one another, caring for one another, living in peace?
Our actions in any given circumstance, is our faith, is our witness first. Then our words. I’ve learned too, that every change I have faced, every struggle, every fear, every storm over the past year or so, has brought me into a closer, relationship with a much deeper understanding. But that to reach this place, there had to be change. Jesus’s disciples came from various walks in life, they left their comfort zones, the way of life they knew and understood and in trust and faith followed. He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Part of those qualifications are patience, compassion, humility and love. The greatest, is love.