One day I was at a gas station when a woman holding her baby, walking with her mom walked up to me. I believe I may have heard her call her mom or something. That’s how I know.
“Ma’am, do you have any cash on you? I was going to get something to eat and I can’t cash my check yet.”
I only had my debit card on me. I replied, “No ma’am. I’m sorry.” As I got in my car, they walked inside of the store. Her baby was screaming at that point. I saw sadness, fear and an obvious look of distraught on the woman and her mother’s face. As a mother, I was thinking, ‘Hopefully they have a little something for the baby’ and as a daughter I hoped the same for her and her mother. As I look through the glass, I see the woman’s mother blocking the cashier’s view by strategically, as it seemed standing behind her daughter and grandchild. I noticed the woman looked around nervously. It dawned on me. She was about to steal. She was in such desperate need, she was willing to do what she thought she had to do for her baby and so they all could eat.
I got their attention as if I didn’t notice what they were doing. “Can y’all wait a minute? I’ll get a little something for you.”
I went to get some cash from the ATM and brought it back to them. She teared up. “Oh, thank you so much! Thank you. Thank you so much!” Then she actually walked to the counter to purchase her things.
Some may have called her thief. She may have looked at it as surviving. Maybe stealing wasn’t in her character. I don’t know. What I do know is she wanted to do it the right way. She wanted to cash her check. She wanted to get money. Her options ran low. I’m not saying whether she was right or wrong. That’s between her and God. But, I saw what appeared to be a loving mother and daughter surviving the moment.
This story is a great example of why we shouldn’t judge anyone. There are so many layers . . . beautiful layers to us all. Sometimes it takes just a little patience to allow each layer unfold.
Sometimes we may meet some who are in their, “surviving the moment” chapter or perhaps we are in the “surviving the moment” chapter. Your “surviving the moment” chapter doesn’t have to be the thought of theft. It could simply mean you’re experiencing a moment due to a circumstance(s), where you are not firmly rooted into the truth of who you really are. You are surviving the moment. You’re doing the best you can.
If you are like the subject in this story, know that you matter and that rainbows are sure to appear after the rain.
And, if you’re already out of the “surviving the moment” chapter and you’re not happy with your choices of getting through it, don’t bow your head because of past failings. There’s an old saying: “Ain’t no sense in crying over spilled milk”. If you’re from the South like I am, it may be “spilt” milk (smile). Either way, it’s such a beautiful, yet challenging reminder. However, if I could change that saying just a little it would be: “It’s okay to cry over spilt milk. Just know what you’re going to do afterward”. After you’re done crying . . . that is.
There are no on and off switches to our emotions. We are going to feel what we’re going to feel. The challenging part at times is giving yourself permission to close that chapter and write a new one.
So, I challenge you today to begin writing your new chapter early this beautiful, Monday morning. No one can always control what the “subtitle” to their “surviving the moment” chapter is. But, one thing’s for sure . . . we can definitely begin writing the next chapter with all of the lessons learned included.