I met a girl today. . . And she was uh, well, she needed help.
Let me start again. I had a dentist appointment, actually three. One for me, and one for each of my children. It was the first appointment for me at this office and I was kind of excited. I like the dentist. I have never had a bad experience. I have all my teeth, wisdom teeth included. I usually get a good report and I like to get that pat on the back for a job well done.Today’s appointment was different.
Ok, from the beginning. . . This place came highly recommended from a person that I trust very much. So, with my bubbly optimism, I walk in. Instantly, I was fond of the place. But in comes the girl, without so much as a hello. She grunts (and I mean grunts) “ I have some paper work for you to fill out before you are seen. Follow me”. My kids looked at me like ‘do we have to go?’ But we all hesitantly followed her into this small, dimly lit room. Now, I am a stickler for customers service. It’s can make or break a relationship with a grocery store, hair stylist, or boutique. So in my mind, that was strike one. As we sat, she said, “I’m so sorry. I have a bad habit of just rambling, my name is ——–.” Her remorse was almost enough to erase strike one, but strike two came quickly after as she coarsely explained the paperwork that I had to fill out. Forms were missing, she was unsure of where I was to sign, and in some cases even if I needed to sign. I knew the day had the potential of becoming progressively worse as my children were led off to separate rooms. It became apparent that the girl who had been attending to us would be my technician and we were not off to the best start. She ushered me into the exam room and as she struggled to get the chair lowered to an acceptable level for me to climb upon, I felt the Spirit of God say “extend to her grace.” Ok! Grace.
Over the next two and a half hours, I did my best to laugh off several errors, not to make this young lady feel as if she wasn’t under such intense scrutiny. I giggled as the device used to stretch your mouth well past the point it is supposed to stretch popped out of my mouth. I assured her that it was okay when she almost dropped the camera on my head trying to take interior photos. I restrained myself from tapping my foot impatiently as she went to get help. With each “I’m so sorry,” I gave a very real “its okay” And it was okay because as she was trying her best, the Holy Spirit was working on me.
When I wrote “she needed help” above, it sounded like a problem, an issue that seemed very negative. But in actuality, we all need help. After struggling for quite some time, the lady asked the other tech to come in for assistance. She showed her a couple of things and then she said “you can always ask the patient to help”. It was as simple as asking. I became a pro at being an assistant, and she was able to complete her tasks.
When we needed help, Grace was extended to us. Even before we knew we needed it, Christ extended grace to us. And even now, we can approach our Father confidently in prayer knowing that there is grace for us, grace to help us with whatever we face.
“Extend to her grace,” was the gentle whispers in my spirit. So many times in my life, I wish others would have extended grace to me. Countless times in my first year as a teacher. Numerous times during my first year of marriage. Every time I attempt to string words together to convey a message. I need grace. I also understand the many times I have failed to extend grace to others in their time of need. Especially to those closest to me. Now I can more clearly understand my son’s plea for grace; my daughters desperate need for it and my husband frustration without it.
Take time to evaluate the relationships in your life. Who can you minister grace to? Who is crying out to receive it from you? Are you in desperate need of grace? Are you asking for help in your times of need? We all need grace. We all need help. And we can run to throne of God. There we find help. There we find grace. Just when we need it.
Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it. Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph. 4:29 (ESV)