“Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7 (NLT)
I walked into the grocery store and headed straight to the bakery. I knew what I wanted and I had limited time. I stood there and looked around for someone to help me. Nada. I looked for a bell to ring...perhaps by the big sign that said "We are always here to help you. We'll be happy to write anything you want on your cake." I looked from the sign back to empty bakery area.
I finally opted to go down to the deli counter and ask them if they could call someone. As I walked back to the bakery counter I heard the loud speaker announcement that a customer needed help in the bakery.
The lady appeared from the back and asked what I needed. I explained that I wanted to buy one of the cakes and have something written on it. She responded "I'd be happy to do that for you but it's not going to look good, I have terrible hand-writing." I said "Excuse me?" She repeated herself. And as she was taking the lid off of the cake she followed up with "And I'm sick."
Now, I am a pretty expressive person so a lot of thoughts were going through my head about how to handle this and what to say. I started with "Stop (I didn't want her germs all over my cake.)" I told her it was OK, I would write on the cake myself meanwhile thinking that my writing was certainly worse than hers and why was she 1) working in a bakery offering to write on my cake if her handwriting was terrible and 2) why was she even at work if she was sick!
So she starts to hand me the cake, without the cover, across the counter. "What are you doing?" I asked. "I'm giving it to you so you can write on it." Now, my mind is racing with more not nice thoughts wondering how I was supposed to stand there, hold it with one hand and write on it with the other? I bit my tongue. I explained to her that is would do it at home. All this time, I resolved to go complain to the manager.
Needless to say, there was more unproductive conversation but just as I was about to open my mouth to tell her my opinion I heard "Ask her why she's sick." The thought was so overwhelming, I did it. She told me. Then, I heard "Tell her it's OK and that you'll take it home and take care of it." So I did. As she handed me the cake over the counter (this time with the lid on it), I heard "Tell her you hope she feels better." I obeyed.
As I walked away resolving to just go home and not tell the manager, I knew God had intervened. If I had told her what I thought, I would have felt terrible and so would she. I am so very thankful that God spoke up and turned off the "This is not how I am supposed to be treated" speakerphone that was going off in my head and replaced it with "Do you see the woman behind the counter?" voice.
I got home and my son (who has much better cake decorating skills than I do) wrote on the cake for me. All was right with the world and more importantly, all was right with my soul. Thank you, God!