I walked up to the divine customer service counter, sure that my exchange wouldn’t go through. The items I held had lost their tags long ago, were far past the typical 90-day return policy cutoff, and they had signs of use.
I held them anyways, waiting my turn in line. The best I could hope for was getting rid of these. I doubt they’re worth any store credit, much less enough credit to get the things I want.
Let’s see here; I’ve got a garment of Anger, one of Bitterness, another of Pride. I’m wearing Anxiety (maybe I should have changed my clothes before I got here… how embarrassing).
And the things I want? Holiness, Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy, Humility, Peace… I would ask for more, but I think there might be a direct exchange program. I probably could give them my Fear and Shame, too.
As I should have expected, when my turn came (which was pretty instant), I didn’t even have to ask. Jesus, the ultimate service personnel, simply looks at me with compassion and love. I look down and realize that I’m not longer holding my long-expired, rags of attire. Instead, I’m clothed in all the things I wanted and more. Hey, that’s long-suffering – I didn’t even know I needed that!
He clothes me in his righteousness and reminds me to come back all the time – or maybe just stick around.
It’s a beautiful exchange.
I ate soup for dinner this evening. Either I didn’t microwave it long enough or I waited too long to consume it. Thus, it was a little bit lukewarm, but I had already put my crackers in it. I needed to eat it as it was since microwaving would have made the crackers all soggy and gross.
It wasn’t terrible to swallow. There was just a bit of regret that went along with it, a little bit of unpleasantness, knowing that it could have been better.
Sometimes I have to swallow other things that aren’t too pleasant either. Sometimes it’s my pride. There are far more opportunities to do this than I actually take. Swallowing pride means that you have to swallow a couple of other things along with it, on occasion. Sometimes you have to swallow your desire to make people understand you and your motivation (and if you’re an INFJ like me, that’s pretty hard since one of our deepest desires is to be understood). Sometimes you have to swallow your desire to give someone a piece of your mind in addition to acknowledging that they’re at least they’re partly right.
Pride is a kind of chunky, misshapen thing to swallow. It takes effort. It doesn’t happen on accident. But maybe it acts kind of like a multivitamin, and not the gummy bear, chewy kinds that actually taste good. It’s one of those bulky ones that are dry and hard to get all the way down your throat. And sometimes it gets stuck in your esophagus so you have to eat crackers and drink three gallons of water before you feel normal again. (disclaimer: don’t actually drink 3 gallons of water at once. bad idea.)
But chunky multivitamins are good for you. And other people are often glad to see you taking them. So, maybe it’s not such a bad idea.
If there’s any time of the year for it, it’s now.