The Soft Approach
"You water its ridges abundantly, You settle its furrows; You make it soft with showers, You bless its growth." Psalm 65:10
I approached their table with an arm load of dinner plates. I had been waiting on this family and eagerly served them their entrees. As I sat each plate before them I noticed how well-behaved and respectful each child was with a gracious mama that sat beside them. Now as I served the man of the house his steak dinner he immediately went into a rage about how his steak had not been cooked to order. As he continued with his obvious disappointment in this meal, his voice became louder and louder with every complaint. I calmly responded with all that I had been trained to handle situations like this and moved speedily to try and correct the wrong that had been done to him.
As a seventeen year old girl learning the trades of my new job I had never come across such a character as him. At a young age that encounter taught me the importance of relating to others. During his high volume, wordy responses to me I remember glancing around the table, taking in his children's red faces and his wife's demeanor of touching him on the arm to try and calm and quiet his erratic behavior, (I felt sorry for them and for me) but I should have felt sorry for him.
In a situation like this, I imagine it would be tempting to throw a fit, spewing venom all over the waitress, not giving a second thought to the example you are setting for your young children and respecting your wife. But will that attitude make that steak cook itself to your perfection? No. And I would not have wanted to eat it after it had been sent back to the kitchen (cooks are known to go to battle for their own, when they have been mistreated).
What I took from that night so long ago is, nobody really wants to help a shrill, squawking shrew (I did make things right; but I didn't want to). I took his rage personally, it hurt and I cried (not in front of him, of course).
Remember, as a woman softness is a sweeter and more direct route to resolution, every time. Exuding softness in your repertoire is a compliment to your character. It is speaking your truth without malice or apology. It gets the job done with elegance (even men can learn from this).
When you catch yourself on the verge of giving someone your 'what for' or being judgmental or complaining about a service you feel did not live up to your expectations, remember that You are a child of the King. Only when we realize that softness is an integral part of our beauty and our beauty is ordained as part of God's plan, will we learn to live our design.
"So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart useful to the Master, prepared for every good work." (2 Tim. 2:21)
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for life lessons. Thank You for softening my ridges and settling my furrows with Your abundant mercies. And thank You for still working on me. May I bend and bow at Your will for that is where my blessings lie. In Jesus' name. Amen.