Lately Dunkin Donuts has had $2 Medium Lattes from 2-6 pm every day. I made this dangerous discovery a few weeks ago…and let’s just say they’ve seen more of me than usual. 🙂 On my way to my Thursday piano lessons this last week, I decided to run through the drive thru and take advantage of this deal for me and Josh.
You know when you get the feeling that you’re annoying someone? Talking to the drive thru lady through the intercom made me feel exactly like that. She was rude, didn’t acknowledge anything I said, and then when I repeated my order she curtly said “drive to the window”. Oh boy…her attitude was quickly souring mine!
But, as I pulled around I held my cool and acted like nothing was wrong. I attempted smiling at her but to no avail. She was obviously not happy and didn’t say more than two or three words to my face. I paid, took my drinks, and quietly left instead of saying anything (because inwardly I was pretty irritated).
As I drove away I stewed a little about the situation. I even briefly thought “wow, I should report her to Dunkin Donuts headquarters.” I mean, come on, I was there as her customer, so the least she could have done was be polite, right?
But then I was reminded of a story that impacted my view on the world around me, a story that I’ve never forgotten (I just sometimes forget it momentarily in such situations as this drive thru experience!). A few years ago, Dr. David Gibbs, Jr, was preaching about loving others. During his sermon he shared an experience he and his wife had one time at a McDonalds’ drive thru. The way he tells the story is so much more engaging and interesting than I tell it – but, suffice it to say that his experience involved a very short-tempered drive thru lady, him having to repeat his order at least 5 times, and his wife having to remind him not to lose his testimony as a Christian! As they pulled up to the window to get their food, they were greeted by a manager rather than by the grumpy employee. The manager received their payment and started talking to them. “Thank you for your kindness and patience with her. She just lost her boyfriend and kids today and is working to try to make money for the funerals.” Dr. Gibbs and his wife drove away in stunned silence. They were grateful that they had not lashed out in “righteous indignation” at this poor drive thru lady.
So, after remembering this story, I talked to the LORD and asked Him to help the grumpy girl I had just encountered at Dunkin Donuts. What if she had just found out she failed a huge exam at school? What if she was at odds with her family? What if she found out that day of a grim health diagnosis? There was no way for me to know why she was taking out her hurt on me…and there was no reason for me to add more to her obviously heavy burden by snapping back at her over a couple of $2 drinks.
The next time you feel snubbed by someone, whether it be a stranger in public or a fellow church member, remember that you never know what they might be going through that day. Instead of letting your pride rise up, lashing back out at them, and putting them in their place, be slow to speak and quick to consider that this might be the worst day of their lives for some reason that they obviously do not care to share. Your kindness – whether or not they notice it – could very well be the thing that keeps them going another hour, another day, another week. Choose to pray for that grumpy person and ask God to intervene on his or her behalf. He can do a much better job of improving their spirit than we ever could.