Have you ever been served up a slice of humility? On this particular day, I was served up my morning coffee and humble pie on the side.
It was just your average morning, well one that came right after a really hard day of mothering.
I dropped my kindergartener off at school and decided to use a gift card I had gotten for Christmas to “treat” myself. My toddler was in the backseat, and his mouth was going a million miles a minute. If I am being honest, I was trying to tune him out as I looked ahead at the LONG line of cars in front of me.
I questioned why I had ordered ahead and even contemplated just not picking up my order and going home.
But I didn’t think that was fair to the person who spent their hard-earned money on my gift card, so in the line I waited. This place had two lines merging into one. There were soooo many cars! The truck that had arrived just before I did was in a standoff with me. I knew he had been there before me, but I guess he was waiting to see if I was going to move in first. Then, he decided to go and moved into the line, and I knew I was next.
Yes, it was my turn! I moved up a bit and had the front of my car sticking halfway into the drive thru entrance….
Then, it happened….
A car pulled up and stuck the front of their car into the other half of the drive thru lane. I was so confused. I thought to myself, “This person clearly knew I was next, so what are they doing?” and then looked over at the driver. She sat there just smiling at me… and if I’m being honest, that made my blood boil a little bit (yes, petty of me, I know, but it had been a rough week, so cut me some slack please). I sat there for a moment and thought that perhaps she would realize it wasn’t her turn and she would back up, but she didn’t.
So, I put my minivan in reverse and let her move all the way into the drive thru lane.
I sat there very impatiently and again wondered why the heck I decided to do this today. Clearly I wasn’t in a good mood, and I didn’t have the patience for it. She ordered and then moved up to the window. I then moved up and tell the barista, through the speaker, that I had a mobile order. Then I notice the lady in front of me gets her coffee, but she’s just sitting at the window waiting for barista to come back. When the barista returns, she tells the her that she wants to order something else.
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
At this point, I’m surprised that I didn’t have steam busting out of my ears. In my head, I was like, “Oh, come on, please! Don’t you know that you have to order at the speaker, not at the pay window.” But again, I said nothing out loud for fear my toddler would copy my words.
The barista passed two more items to the lady. Then she said something else… and I immediately put my head down because at this point I’m so frustrated I am about to bust out laughing (and I don’t know about you, but I have to be pretty darn frustrated to do that). As I am siting there waiting, I feel myself get more and more frustrated at myself for coming to this drive thru.
Then I faintly hear the barista say, “She had placed a mobile order.”
I peek my head up for a moment, but at this point my toddler is talking 2 million times a minute, and I cant hear what they are saying in front of me.
They go back and forth for a few seconds and then the lady drives off. I get up to the window and the barista hands me my drink and then a gift card. She then says, “The lady in front of you wanted me to give this to you, because she thinks she may have cut you off. She said she feels awfully bad for doing that.”
My eyes fill up with tears.
I said, “Thank you,” and then quickly drove off.
I sat at the next stop light and said a prayer for that lady, and also for my own self, because clearly I needed a heart check.
That lady was just going about her day, just like I was, and she made a mistake. I was quick to be upset because she made that mistake, even though I knew being upset was a bit of an overreaction. I teach my kids all the time that mistakes happen and that they are not something someone does maliciously. In that moment, I was so upset at a complete stranger, because they inconvenienced me for a few minutes of my day… and in return, they showed me grace. Y’all, I don’t know about you but that humbled me pretty darn quickly.
Motherhood is hard, y’all, and life in general is hard. We are all just trying to get through this life, day by day and moment by moment. I don’t know who that lady is or why she was in that line, but darn, I am so thankful for her. The lesson she taught me is worth much more than a gift card (though that was a precious gesture as well).
Be kind to one another. You never know who is behind you or in front of you, and it doesn’t really matter, because we are all human and deserve to be given grace. I’ll never forget my morning of coffee and humble pie.