Desperate times call for pulling on my boots.  Two days ago torrential rains flooded streets and parking lots, high winds blowing the wet slivers sidesways. I had no choice but to venture into possible harm’s way because the Sears Outlet was having a special sale, deducting from already low prices an additional 13% for “Spooky” Halloween savings, PLUS 5% more if using a Sears card.


Although I was the first through the door, the salesman asked if he could check out another couple since I was still deciding (well, he had not shown me the correct items yet). Of course, I graciously agreed—and then the couple said, “Oh, we need to add a dishwasher, if that is okay.” 


OF COURSE, it was not okay, but they already knew that. One hour later I was still waiting, but admittedly much less graciously. Then my salesman said it was taking longer with the couple, and now he also had a return, pointing to an older lady who was holding an unhappy baby for an even unhappier young mother. 


OF COURSE, the salesman was instructing me of the importance of the needs of others over my own. I had heard this same sentiment before; someone even wrote it down for me . . . on a paper plate: “Love one another.”  I realize that no matter how many times I am told there is something I need to do, my hearing does not empower the doing. As a matter of fact, not even my good intentions empower my doing when I am being treated unfairly.


OF COURSE, things got worse. By this time at least 20 customers were waiting on 3 salespersons., and neither of the other two wanted to “help” me so as not to take away the first man’s commission.  OF COURSE, I wanted to scream that without my business, NO ONE would get ANYTHING. 


OF COURSE, I did not scream, I did not pitch a fit, I did not play the “I was here FIRST” card; nor did I raise my hand to offer prayers of blessings on all who were gathered together to get the “Spooky” savings. AH, HA!” Some of you yell. “You were at a sale honoring Satan’s special day, and that is why God did not bless your time there!”


OF COURSE, I do not agree with that. God did bless me by clearly showing that I was not the point of my time at the Sears Outlet’s Spooky Sale; the lady who finally had mercy to wait on me was. While the computer experienced glitches, she kept apologizing, and I kept declaring it was not her fault. I had time to make friends with the beautiful baby of the waiting to return mom. That gave my saleslady cause to share excitedly of her first grandbaby début in December, and that she was always telling her daughter to take care of herself just like her great grandmother had instructed her momma (apparently in the absence of her mom’s momma).


OF COURSE, after 3 hours of shopping the Spooky sale at the Sears Outlet, I had no dryer to show for it. Finally I told my lady just to hold my paperwork until the next day when things weren’t so busy. She promptly replied she was off that day but would be back the next.  


OF COURSE, I could not remember if I had given her my Social Security number for a credit check (since I had not used my Sears’ card since 2001 when I purchased the now non-working dryer), so I lived with a horrible, sinking, “YOU ARE SO STUPID!” feeling until opening time on the day after my saleslady’s day off. Even though the doors opened at 9, evidently knowledgeable sales’ staff was not required to arrive until 10.


OF COURSE, day two at the Sears Outlet Spooky Sale and I had more waiting. I imagine whatever I did not learn the first day was coming back around again for my benefit. However, when we did locate the dryer I had decided to buy, I noticed a large dent in the shape of a “Z,” an alphabetic extra that somehow missed my notice two days before, an “after factory” addition that possibly would affect the proper function of said dryer.


Oh. Hmm. Ah. Well. 


Was it possible that the whole crazy wait-a-thon had not been just about my learning that love in action does not come from just possessing a plate with love written on it by someone else? Was it possible that God was protecting me from buying a damaged product that would cause more trouble, more waiting, more wet clothes? Was it possible that every situation isn’t just about teaching me a lesson of how pitiful I am, but it is also an opportunity God takes to show me how much He loves me, which in actuality is the only way I will love another more than I love myself?