December 21, 2009

Angels Among Us

Today I had the opportunity to stand in a very long line and watch an angel at work.

I stood in a snaking line at filled with harried people dropping off their last minute packages at the post office. At the counter, stood a lady with an unnaturally tangerine tinted, tightly set, heavily Aqua-netted hairdo, barely reaching the counter with her cards and packages. Her hearing was bad enough that the entire line was privy to her conversation with the postal clerk.

She hadn't filled out the address on her package properly and it couldn't be sent. She was asking dozens of questions, fumbling in her pocketbook, and papers fluttering like makeshift indoor snowflakes.  She clutched the handle of her bag and seemed overwhelmed. The clerk behind the counter didn't wince or lose his patience. Some folks sighed audibly while others began to shift or tap their feet. The other two clerks were moving efficently, but the third line stagnated.

The lady wanted to make sure her package arrived on time. The clerk tried to read the forms to her, but she became frustrated when she couldn't hear him. Minutes passed as she fumbled a bit more with the carbon copied forms. The sign on the counter indicated that clerks are forbidden to fill out papers of any sort. She finally gave up, knowing that she would need to go home and get someone to help her fill out her papers, hoping she could find someone to bring her back to the post office tomorrow.

I stood at the back of the line watching the scenario unfold. The clerk suggested he had a better idea and he got a priority box for her. He gently repacked the present as if it were his own and taped it shut. He explained slowly what she needed to do, "Just put this out with your mail tomorrow after you put the right address on here and you won't have to find a ride back." He didn't break any rules but he truly showed compassion and assistance.

The sweet lady thanked him over and over again, and turned to all of us in line and apologized for being so slow. I think the foot tappers may have been a little humbled. She was still rustling things back into her pocketbook when it was my turn. I just looked over at the clerk helping her and smiled.

Patience is so rare in the world these days that it really stands out. We have so many time saving devices, I'm often left wondering why there is never any spare time. I am grateful that two angels were in my path today to remind me that time is precious. The slow little old lady and her chivalrous postal clerk. While you're out there, take a moment to watch for angels. They are everywhere you look. I would love if you shared a story with us here in the comments.

With many blessings of Christmas for my readers and friends,


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