Now that I got that off my chest.)
As a number of people know (not necessarily all my readers), I have been working at my brother-in-law's store since the middle of May. We sell Lottery tickets LOTS of them. Scratch tickets, Mega Millions (up to $170 million this week), the Daily Number, etc. You get the picture or you never go into that kind of establishment or if you do, you totally ignore it and you have no idea what in the world I am talking about, regardless, just stay with me.
On Tuesday, my daughter's birthday, I had the urge to play the numbers. It was more about the numbers than the winning money. For the first time I saw this angle from the customers point of view. The month's numbers are all written up on the Lottery calendar made specifically for that purpose. Two of the regulars were discussing the pattern of the month and suddenly it hit me. For some it IS about trying to win money and for others, it is about actually playing the numbers. Some of our brains are just wired to think about numbers and patterns. Recently, my friend Carol has cracked up over my ability to remember people's birthdays, dates of where I have lived (17 moves in 6 years) and world and personal events that have happened. (However, if you ask me about my 75 or so passwords for the Internet and accounts I have and I will have to go to my book) I enjoy numbers and it is probably why I create so many passwords instead of using a small variation of one. It is just the way my Creator wired me. I didn't play any numbers and I never really have had the desire before this, but I started thinking about the numbers in Grace's birthday. I don't remember my room number in the hospital (oops) but I know the exact time she was born, the day of the week, the fact that it was raining, how old I was. Sometimes I have said or had the urge to say when a number arises, say a total on my grocery bill is 19.66, my thought is "maybe I should play that number," but I never do.
If you asked me what is the worse thing about working at the store: hands down, having to sell lottery tickets, but a lot of the regular customers are lottery customers. It is important to be courteous, even when they come back to the counter for the 11th time to buy 2 more of the same scratch ticket that they bought 2 at a time from the same book of tickets the previous 10 times. It requires patience. And in my growing in patience with the people, I have in someway started to look at the game from there side of the counter. It is hard to hate an activity and still serve the participants of it with love. First hand, I see how the hatred can slip across the line to look like hating "those" customers. They are high maintenance for sure, but they are people first, image bearers of God. With each passing day, I see how much mercy I need and that same measure of mercy we need to extend to the people who come across our path. Do any of us deserve that mercy? No, but we all need it.
Doing my best to finish this blog before 10:17 on the 16 of August in this 95 degree heat in the summer of 2009.