The Way She Looked At Me
It wasn’t the bath(room) that did it to me, nor was it the act of using the facilities (although I could probably write a book on that subject—don’t ask) that shook my confidence. No, it was her.
You know, I was raised to be polite. Contrary to popular belief, I tend to be shy, especially around people I don’t know well. I have worked hard to overcome some of my shyness and force myself to smile at people I pass, say, “hi”, open doors—you know—general politeness.
This particular day, I was at work. I’ve been at my place of employment for years, so even if I don’t know the person, I am likely familiar with them. I was washing my hands, and as I did, two ladies walked in. I grabbed a paper towel and turned to walk toward the door. As I did, one of the ladies started to walk into my path.
So I stopped. I smiled. I waved her to go. She kind-of gave me the “eye” (you know…the Girl Eye) and nodded like I should go. I started to walk, but so did she. I giggled and said, “Wow! Shall we dance?”
Okay. At this point I have to admit I expected her to laugh along and share a friendly smile with me. Right?
She rolled her eyes at me and with a straight face grimaced, “You can go.”
I smiled, ever-so-slightly, threw her a quick, “Thank you,” and got out of there as fast as I could with my feelings trailing behind me. All the way back to my office I replayed the scene through my mind. What did I do wrong? I feel so stupid. I must have looked ridiculous. Why did I try to be funny? Why doesn’t she like me? Does she roll her eyes at me every time I walk by her?
Do you ever have these conversations with yourself or am I the only one? I used to have them all the time. Probably daily. I thought I had trained myself to not be so fragile. I had practiced seeing my value through God’s eyes and not other’s. But, something about that thirty second interaction caught me off guard and undermined my self-confidence.
Here’s the thing. Maybe she had a terrible day and her demeanor had nothing to do with me. Maybe she had to really go to the bathroom. Perhaps she has a lot of stress in her life. Finally, it’s possible that I just bug her. You know what? None of those issues are things I have control over. I can only be responsible for me.
It’s been a week since that happened. Here I sit, still dwelling on it. What are the odds she has given it a second thought? It’s not likely, is it?
Unfortunately, this is the way a lot of insecure people think. It makes our world a very small and miserable place.
God wants us to live freely.
Looking back, I know that I was kind to her. I smiled. I tried to find humor. I feel I treated her in a way that was pleasing to God. That’s all. The rest is God’s. I did what He asked me to do. Luke 6:31 (AMP) And as you would like and desire that men would do to you, do exactly so to them.
I think it’s important that we not carry burdens that don’t belong to us. Her attitude toward me (whether real or imagined) is not something I need to take ownership of. My attitude toward her belongs to me and is what I need to concentrate on.
God also reminded me that I must always be on guard about my attitude toward others. Whether I’m tired, or mad, or sad, or having a bad day—that person who walks by me—well, I may be the only one to actually see them. I may be the only smile they get. I may be the only one to say, “How are you?” and really care. I don’t ever want anyone to walk away from me feeling like I did that day in the bathroom.
I want to do as Matthew 5:16b (MSG) says, “be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
Lisa Bull sees her life as a journey along God’s divine plan. While considering herself an expert on nothing, she enjoys laughing and has made “choosing joy” her motto. Lisa has experienced God’s unfailing love and grace in her life and wants nothing more than for others to enjoy that same gift in their lives.
Lisa is the daughter and granddaughter of ministers. She has multiple relatives in ministry on both sides of her father’s family including several pastors, pastor’s wives, and missionaries. In fact, ministry in her maternal grandmother’s family can be traced back several generations. She loves being a wife and mother of two terrific young men.