I swiped my credit card about five times, but Red Box didn’t read it. A man about my age, next in line, spoke to me slowly, compassionately and clearly, mouthing his words like he was speaking to a two month old; “Try…to…turn…your…card…the…other…way. I know what you’re going through. I've had trouble with them too. Sometimes…they…are…tricky.” Unhumbled by his kindness, I thought, “Am I a charity case? Did he think I wouldn’t figure that out without him? Dude, quit watching over my shoulder."
I took his advice. I turned my card the other way and leaned over to block his view. It worked. I half turned around and said “Thank you” and walked home in the cold. As I walked I wondered what that interaction meant, because “we have a spiritual obligation to penetrate the inner meaning of events,” as Richard Foster put it.
Here’s what I took away. I was unhumbled by his kindness because I was proud. I looked incapable and incompetent and didn’t like it. I like to think of myself as capable – not one who needs help. I think we all do. Perhaps, in a nutshell, this is what is wrong with the human race; we don't acknowledge our need for correction, guidance and help from God. But, we should welcome help from God others because we need it.
On my walk I thought, “God, I am charity case. I need your help and help from others. All the time. I am not competent - at all. I’m incapable. I depend on you for everything – even air. I need to realize my need for you. I have not been humble. I have been proud.” A weight fluttered off me and I felt lighter and realer.