Have you ever known someone for most of their life or your life and when you see them again in a different environment that person seem so different? That happened to me not just once, but twice last night while I was working at Casey’s.
I am a cashier and one of my job is to turn on the gas pump when someone lift the nozzle and hit start. As pump one was initiated to start, I noticed a small older model maroon car, but I could not see the person pumping the gas. I went about my business and saw that the pump had finish pumping gas. I looked up and saw a man walking about six feet tall into the door. I was shocked to see my son, Steve, who lives in the Quad Cities. He was only in town for a short time and came by to get gas, soda, and beef jerky (which was high priced I thought).
Later in the evening, I looked up to greet another customer and I had to look twice! Standing before me is my other son, Brad. He was getting ready to go out of town and stopped to get some Dew!
Now I have given birth to these boys and raised them. They are adults. But what made them look so different? It was as if I was seeing them in a new perspective and I was. I was seeing them as customers who happens to be my sons.
I cannot remember a time where the boys came into my workplace as customers. When I was a waitress or a night manager in a grocery store, they were too young to be in the store or restaurant without adult supervision. Later I worked in social services and they were not my clients. However, when I was an associate pastor, they did come to listen to one or two of my sermons and I saw them in a new perspective then too.
You see, it’s not that they are different, but my role or personality changed while in a different environment. We all wear different masks while we are wearing different hats in life. How we act with our children is different than how we act with our parents. How we act with our friends is different than how we act with a new acquaintance. How we act at home is different than how we act at work. And unfortunately, for many of us, how we act in church is different than how we act the rest of the week.
The personality of these boys were the same as before last night, when I look at the situation closely. What I saw in Steve is that he is a tall big guy who loves to joke around and laugh at the small stuff. What I saw in Brad is that he has dark eyes, a great smile and a great laugh. In addition they both love to catch me in a “mom moment” (when I say or do something that is funny unexpectedly). Of course there is more to them than what is said here and I am at risk of embarrassing them. (Love you both :-) )
There are many stories of people in the Bible who sees others in a different perspective because of their physical ailments, their financial status, their marital status or their social status. Many times the way we views others is how we unconsciously view ourselves in the same situation. Matthew 7:5 says, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”
The next time you find yourself seeing someone or something in a different perspective, ask yourself, “what is different about me?” Do I like what I see in me? If not, what do I need to change? Am I being true to myself?
As I see the boys more often in the store, I suspect that my role as a mother will come through more. However, the “mom moments” will always be there for all to enjoy in laughter including me.