As I paid for my soft drink and snack I asked the clerk behind the counter to sign my quilt. I had been concerned about getting my money out as well as the things needed to obtain a signature. When I stopped long enough to really see the clerk things became a little confused. Here is what I saw. Short dark hair with soft waves, a person wearing a uniform consisting of grayish trousers, a button-down shirt with a convenience store company logo above the pocket, large thick glasses and a face with no expression.
As I explained about my quilt and the need of signatures the person extended a hand toward me. Taking the quilt square and pen, the person began to tediously write. When the writing stopped the square was handed back to me slowly and deliberately. My change from my purchase was handled in the same slow deliberate manner. Once the change reached my hand the person’s head did a little head tilt up and down as they turned away from me signaling our time was over! The person had never uttered a word, all communication was done with gestures and body language!
I was both a little creeped out and very curious about many things. Was this person male or female! Were they mute??? Was the ugly uniform a requirement or personal choice? Did they like their job? How did they get their hair to wave like that? What secrets were they harboring, or worst yet could they be a criminal?
When I was in the safety of my car I took the quilt square out to see what the person hten so slowly and deliberately. Surely some of my questions would be answered when I read what had been written. To my great surprise the square was almost void of any writing! There was a name, first and last it seemed, but so small it was impossible to read. I was stunned!
We gave the person the name “Dana” after considering “Pat or Terry”. Although none of my questions were answered and I’m still as confused about this person’s identity as ever, we prayed anyway. Just because someone dresses differently than we do, or their manner is not what we expect we must treat them with dignity and respect just as we would like to be treated.
I know God would have us show kindness and compassion to all we meet. Hopefully the next time I meet a “Dana” “Pat or Terry” person I will be more prepared. Hopefully I can muster gracious words instead of letting my imagination run wild. Hopefully I will look for all the best the person has to offer and not the differences or the deficiencies my little mind perceives.
It suddenly strikes me I need prayer as much as my speechless quilt signer. Forgive me Father.