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Tending Your Soul: Sacred Encounters

The $20 Bill

During a spring-summer transition time I had the opportunity to work selling baked goods at a prominent local bakery/deli. Having always served in academic settings, I found I had a lot to learn from the women employed there. They worked harder, longer hours and for less pay than I ever had to in my life. Some of them worked multiple jobs so that they could support children and grandchildren. I was humbled by their selflessness. I was also humbled the day I neglected to follow the training we received concerning the money received from each customer.

We were instructed to put the bill on the ledge above the register rather than place it immediately in the cash drawer. That enabled us to remember the exact amount given to us. I failed to do that one morning and returned change for a $10 bill to a customer who immediately informed me that he had given me a $20. Since I had no proof, I was forced to accept his word on the matter. I was grumbling and irritated at my own stupidity, sharing my thoughts with several other women.

Years later I can still remember the co-worker’s hand on my shoulder and the words, “Just forgive and forget.” Talk about being humbled! I’m the “religious” one who has just been blessed hearing the Gospel message clearly spoken to my heart right in the midst of the doughnuts and cookies!

God, I will forever be grateful for the privilege of working with those women. Thank you for reaching into my heart through them with your words encouraging forgiveness. Such a simple example of “Let go and let God” – a phrase that can sometimes sound trite to me.

Reflection/Discussion:
What image, feeling, question or memory surfaces as you read this story?

When have you been discouraged with the way you handled a relationship or situation? What happened? As you look back can you identify some blessing in it?