sorrow and joy in retail

Over the past two days at work (at my temporary retail job), I witnessed a few things that impacted me. I saw a little window into two individual’s lives – a fragment really with no other pieces to make a full picture.

Yesterday a young woman in her mid to late teens brought in a pile of jeans into the fitting room. From what I’d seen “on the floor” appeared that she’d been shopping with her father and brother, and she really didn’t seem too keen to be there. She didn’t say anything as she entered her room, more out of shyness perhaps than anything else and I told her that I’d be back to see how she was doing – if she needed any other sizes, etc. I went to go help another few customers in the fitting rooms and while I was out looking for something, this young woman must’ve left. I went out in the store and the other sales associates were kind of huddled together, looking a little stunned and saddened. I guess this young woman left the fitting rooms, and then the store, in tears. She couldn’t have tried on any more than 2 pairs of jeans, if even that. Overwhelming discouragement in the fitting rooms? It’s not the first time I’ve seen it. And that may not be the reason why she left crying, but there’s a good chance that that’s what it was. Ugh… I felt soooooo horrible for her. I couldn’t get her and her sorrow out my mind, and so lifted her up to God. I hate the disfigured way that our bodies can appear to us – lies from Satan about our body image. The Lord God created each of us to be “made in His image” and we have been “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Beauty distorted – truth distorted, like false teaching. Equally disgusting.

The other event began this afternoon, when a woman came up to the cash desk to purchase some carpris and a pair of slacks. I totalled her purchases and she opened her wallet and cautiously took out two $5.00 bills – she seemed rather surprised and taken aback by this $10.00. Scrambling for words she said, “Long story short. In some laundry I was doing yesterday, something got into a wash that shouldn’t have been in there and wrecked the whole load. One shirt was totally ruined. My daughter had asked me how much the ruined shirt had cost and I told her $10.00… She slipped this into my wallet…” As she spoke, she began to wipe away the tears that wouldn’t stop. Thankfully there was a box of tissues close by. I told her what a great daughter she must have. She said, “I do. I don’t know how many fourteen year olds would do a thing like that… She’s…” You know, the second event was such a contrast to the first, even though tears were again shed. I don’t really know what to say except that I was thankful for opportunity to share a minute amount of the joy that this woman experienced over the generousity, and tender heart of her daughter.

One thought on “sorrow and joy in retail

  1. Hey Beth,really touching stories. Thanks for taking the time to share them. They brought a tear to my eye. I think that the “tiny” meaningfuly moments in life are where joy is found. I so often want to find joy in the “big” events, but pray that God give me eyes to see and appreciate more of the daily “joy moments”.Miss you!Liz L


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