Web Inspirations

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Sep 13, 2007

Blessed by Simplicity

This is a simple little story with a simple meaning, but it has a very powerful message.

I recently started working part-time at a discount store. I have had the opportunity to observe customers from all walks of life. Even though the store is a "discount" store, shoppers range from well-to-do to the plain and simple whose economic needs probably necessitate their shopping at discount stores. Of course, I already knew that having a bright loving persona isn’t by any means related to how affluent a person is, and that is what this little story is about.

This week, a special blessing was sent my way! Three very special customers came in together. They were three young ladies and maybe I should label them as angels in disguise. I was standing behind the counter as they entered and realized that one of the ladies was the caregiver and that she had brought the other two "mentally challenged" ladies in to shop. I believe that’s the modern term for what society formerly called "mentally retarded." Webster’s Dictionary defines the word "retarded" as "slow or delayed." What I am about to describe certainly reflects neither.

As the ladies shopped all around the store, they eventually came up to the counter where I was standing to look at the ring display. One of the ladies had her arms overflowing with little toys and other items. I think most of it was for friends back at the group home where they lived. She was naming what she had chosen special for each friend. She then carefully picked out a ring, which she said she was buying for her boyfriend. The other lady tried on different rings and then decided upon one for herself, with the guidance of the caregiver, who was so kind and patient with them.

As they were standing at the counter looking at the rings, I started talking to them, and one of the ladies formally introduced me to the caregiver and to her other friend. She put her arms around each one, hugged them up close to her and said, "These are my friends," and told me their names. Then she looked direct at me, smiled, and said, "You are two of a kind!" I smiled back at her in silence, not knowing what she meant by that! I have since thought about those words and I’m not totally sure of what she meant by them, but I hope that in her own special way, perhaps she sensed a friendly loving spirit within me, as that of her friends! That one simple little sentence blessed my heart that day, and made me feel very special!

I saw the joy of simplicity that these ladies were savoring, and I felt the happiness they were sharing together as friends. As they paid for their purchases with their own money, I could sense their feeling of satisfaction of being independent in choosing what they wanted to buy. They seemed so happy and content with what they had chosen. No debating over whether they should do this or that, and no discussing or worrying whether their friends would be happy with the gifts chosen just for them. I’m sure they had no doubt that their friends would appreciate what they had bought for them, because it was coming from their hearts.

Just a simple day, a simple shopping spree, but it made me realize that these young ladies were living life to the fullest! I believe they were truly angels in disguise sent just for me that day. They came to make me more aware of how complicated I tend to make my own life sometimes, and that I need to slow down, look around, and savor the simple joys of life. It’s right there under our noses, if only we will slow down enough to see it. These young ladies didn’t have a lot of worldly possessions or any of the things that we think we have to have in order to enjoy life. They were just simply enjoying the pathway that God had chosen for their lives, to the best of their abilities. How many of us can honestly say that we do that?

It’s the simple things in life that matter the most. Sometimes we get so busy that we forget that. We get so caught up in the rat race of life that we forget how our lives can be so richly Blessed by Simplicity!

--Kathy S. Norris

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