By Shawn R. Jones
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
A cashier at our neighborhood market had such an unwelcoming disposition that I would avoid her checkout line. Sometimes she would be the only cashier working and I, of course, would have to get in her line. I would smile and say good morning as pleasantly as I knew how without breaking into song and dance. She would respond with a mumbled hi. After that, she would work in silence, and I would bag my groceries and pay in silence.
One day my husband and I were shopping in that same neighborhood grocery store. I told him not to go to the “evil cashier.” Of course he carefully angled the cart between the candy bar and magazine racks of her aisle. He asked her about her holiday and talked about the weather. Meanwhile, I was thinking, He is so corny, and this is so unnecessary. He called her by the name displayed on her nametag. She mumbled and grumbled for a while, but he kept on talking to her.
Then she held up my frozen macaroni and cheese and said, “You should make it from scratch.” I looked at her strangely. Then she gave me advice on how to prepare the best macaroni and cheese. “You gotta use that cheese from behind the meat counter. Tell them it’s for mac and cheese. They’ll know what you’re talkin’ about.”
My husband said, “How about we just come to your house and eat?”
She smiled and said, “Anytime. I haven’t had much company since my son passed away last year.”
My husband and I did not go to her home, but every time we saw her in the market, she smiled, talked, and laughed as she ran our items across the scanner.
Dear Lord, I am sorry for judging others. Please remind me that everyone has a story that I may not know or understand. Please forgive me and fill my heart with compassion for everyone I meet. Amen.
Reprinted from Pictures in Glass Frames
(Ambassador International, 2011)