When I walked in the door she was yelling at a customer over the phone in a voice ragged with decades of cigarette smoke. She wore Wranglers and hiking boots. It was obvious that she was annoyed with the customer and licked a fingertip as she thumbed through her scheduling book pointing out in sharp words why the request just wasn't possible. Her face was weathered with wrinkles.
There was one thing that seemed out of place. Her hair. It was absolutely beautiful. Her hair was the color of honey and hung about in soft waves at her shoulders. Not one gray hair. It was the hair of Loreal commercials.
As the yelling progressed, I began to wonder if what I came in for was really worth the abuse. About the time that I had located all the emergency exits in the room, she hung up the phone. Expecting her to turn to me, I steeled myself up to be all business. Instead, she didn't even look at me and went through swinging doors into the back room. Did she not see me?
I waited a minute or two, deciding whether or not I dare "ring the bell for customer service" when the swinging doors opened. "Yeah?" - not really even looking at me. I told her I had an order to pick up. She handed me a clipboard and gruffly told me to fill out the information. No small talk. She brought out my order with no words and shoved it at me with eyes on her papers the whole time.
We stood there as she ran my card in silence. "Sign here."
I don't know what I was thinking after the customer slaughter I saw moments ago, but I couldn't help myself. I let it slip. " You have the most beautiful hair!"
That was the first time she looked at me.
And she smiled. It was an unexpectedly beautiful smile. She said thank you and explained to me that she just returned from the beauty shop. She doesn't normally have her friend do much to her hair, but this time she wanted her to make it beautiful.
She starts chemo this week.
That changed my day. Probably my week. And I hope the way I view and react to people from now on. You never know what's behind the rude. Lord, thank you for the reminder!
And if you will, please say a prayer for the lady with the beautiful hair.