My Field of Dreams

My Field of Dreams

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Life Experiences

I have been reading a book called Reflections on the Magic of Writing, by Diana Wynne Jones. It is a fantastic book, I mean for someone like me who loves reading about why and how people write. It is a book of essays that challenge and motivate me to be a better writer. Yesterday as I was reading through it and she was recounting the odd people she encountered in her life. As I read what she wrote, I thought about the many people I have come in contact with and how each one has changed my life.

As  I have shared when I was seventeen, I started working in my Dad's grocery store. I was shy, a little backward and had no people skills. Being in a grocery store, you learn quickly that you are for all intents and purposes, invisible. In that situation, you learn to observe. You learn that some people are just mean, but most are kind. For the most part, so wrapped up in themselves they just never notice.

One woman that used to come in was like a wounded animal. She would never look at me but she watched what I did like hawk and made me reweigh her produce sometimes 3 or 4 times. I liked to play this game. If I could get a person to smile at me they would see me and become my friend for life. I decided I was going to be as nice as I could, I would weigh her produce as much as she wanted and I would be bend over backward to make her smile.

Just so you don't get the wrong idea, she never did smile. She never got nice. She never got over being scared. One day though, as she reached for the change I was handing to her, her sleeve rode up a little higher on her forearm. There on her arm was the tattoo of the numbers from a concentration camp. In that second, I stared, I looked up into her face, she immediately pulled the sleeve down to cover up what I had saw. She ducked her head and turned to go out of the store. I stood and watched as she left. As a young girl, I had never known pain like that poor woman had experienced. It became one of those life changing experiences for me.

As a young kid, I would make snap judgements. My grandpa, would say to me over and over, " Kim,
never judge anyone until you have walked a mile in their shoes." I learned that when I was working in that grocery store that people I thought were mean, really weren't they just were trying to live life the best way they could. I decided after that when I would see her, I would go in the back room to the walk in case and I would get her special produce or if I could I would save things I thought she might like. Most of the time she wouldn't take it, she was afraid. But I began to notice she came through my line more and more.

Now at the age I am now and I hear my kids talk about the different people they come in contact with each day at their jobs. I have tried to tell them about making each person a divine appointment. They just "Oh, Mom" me. So I guess that it has to be something that you learn on your own.

Even though I was doing that job for the money, I am so thankful that working in that store was really about education. God was teaching me that no matter what, each person is special and each one is for that tiny moment in time, a gift to hold in my hands.

Reading this book has made me think about how without the people brought in my life, my life would have no color. I am thankful for the color.

~Kim~

20 comments:

  1. you are such a kind soul. you just pour it out so freely. i marvel at you.

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  2. I'm so glad you're enjoying that book! You kind of have to read each essay one at a time, then think about it for a while. I'd never heard that story about the concentration camp lady. I wonder what happened to her?

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  3. I loved reading your post! I too love reading books in writing, so I'n going to have to check that one out. Oh yes, and I am your newest Follower!

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  4. This is so true. My grandfather used to tell me that all the time and I'm sure I had the same rolling eye reaction as your kids. I think this is one of those lessons that you have to learn on your own, like you did, for it to change your life.
    Great post Kim!

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  5. Oh Kim, what an experience! I am too quick to judge but I did read that once about 'taking a second, closer look' at someone before make a snap judgement on them, and I've tried to do that. We only look on the outward too often.
    Glad you shared that.
    Christine

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  6. Beautiful post, you are a sweet soul, Francine.

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  7. A lovely post. You have a very kind heart and it shines through your words.

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  8. Kim thank you so much for the reminder. So many times the Holy Spirit has convicted me that we should bless the people that serve us from McDonald's to Walmart but I am usually to busy to think about anyone but myself.. You were a very sensitive and carrying person to allow God to show you this lesson so early in life.

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  9. Great and interesting post. I like it.
    I also invite you to my blog. ;)
    Yours. Have a nice day.
     
    You can also find me on the fanpage and keep track of my work:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/In-another-light/413836138693856?ref=stream

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  10. Kim, you always have food for my soul, it's true. You have so many stories to tell and and they are all stored in your good memory, waiting just for the right moment to appear.

    I read the Diary of Anne Frank when I was young but it didn't had the same impact as it has had when i read it again about a month ago. Those people suffered unimaginable pain and have been deeply affected. What an experience for you to have seen this woman's number and been so kind to her.
    God Bless,
    Hugs,
    JB

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  11. What an excellent story this was! Very powerful and moving. You are absolutely right that many times a mean person wasn't born that way, that we must not judge a book by its cover. It is so easily said but so hard to do sometimes. Thanks for sharing this story.

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  12. It is kind of weird to look back and think about the people that made a change in your life, even if they weren't around for very long. It's too bad that lady never smiled, but I can understand why not. You've met so many interesting people.

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  13. Great story! I heard a song today that was talking about our words being "life" to others. Our actions are, too. You are right about the divine appts. I have seen the difference a kind word or, as you said, a simple acknowledgement has made in a person's countenance. We wants to use us everywhere to point others to Him!

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  14. I love it when you tell stories, Kim!xoNellie

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  15. As always Kim, you are so insightful. You never know how a kind word or a smile will affect someones day in a positive way. Great post!

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  16. Well said... and so very true! And yes, this really is something you have to learn on your own... I look back at some of the moments in my life and think, geee... they (my parents) were right! :-) It's all part of life... and yes, I truly feel that everyone you meet has something to teach you. once I (got old enough) to start to relax and listen... I learned this to be true...

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  17. This was wonderful...just wonderful. My sister worked in a retirement home and she experienced seeing the numbers on different ones there...it changed her also. May we all remember that we don't know what another is going through.

    Great piece...you writer you!!

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  18. We learn continually as we are open to learn! Valuable lesions are everywhere for us, we just have to open our eyes, hearts and minds!

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  19. Oh! this is such an awesome post! I felt as though I was there reliving this experience with you! I am a firm believer that nothing happens by just circumstance but that God orders our days! You learned so much at your grand father's store lessons from him that have carried you through life! lessons that you have passed on to your children! I always enjoy when you share memories.

    Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, but most of all for your prayers.
    Hugs,
    Sue

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