This morning as I waited at the school's doors waiting for them to open so that my daughter could enter I noticed a long line of cars in the parent loop. The idea is that the parents drop off their children and then move on allowing the cars behind them to pull up and do the same. This morning there was a car in the first slot in line and she was just idling. The cars behind her became impatient and started to honk. They couldn't get around her as there were large orange cones blocking their path and for good reason. If they weren't there the parents tend not to pay attention zoom around the car that is "too slow" and it's a recipe for disaster. However, as it was still early and the staff member that monitors the parent loop wasn't out yet. Impatient cars were honking and the cars were lining up. Looking out into the street you could see the long line of cars in either direction. Without the cars moving through the parent loop, other cars could not get in and well, it results in loooooong lines of cars, impatient parents, and antsy children.
My friend and I were watching the increasingly angry event and decided to give a hand. While my friend spoke to the parent, I moved the cones and started directing cars to move forward and around. Mind you, I was holding my one year old and I was praying that the frustrated parents wouldn't be in such a rush to move around the waiting car that they would zoom too quickly by and nick us. One parent was hesitant to move forward I asked if he had enough room to get by. He assured me he did, but I could see that he was debating about whether or not to approach the parent. I wished him a Happy Monday and encouraged him to keep moving. One parent pulled up to me and told me that the waiting car shouldn't be there and someone needed to tell her to move. My friend already had and I told him I was just a parent like him and not staff so "Have a happy Monday and move on."
Finally the assistant principal came out and spoke to the mother. Come to find out this was her first day of doing drop off and her little preschooler needed a one on one to escort him in. She looked and sounded frazzled, there was miscommunication, and she was getting increasingly upset as she waited for the staff member (who never came out) to assist her. It was all a miscommunication.
All I could think was, "Oh, that poor woman. She must be frazzled and slightly embarrassed and frustrated." She is dropping off her most precious heart to school and the long line of cars behind her were showing her their irritation and frustration. And I thought, "Folks, grant each other grace." How often do we move through the day irritated and frustrated with the person in front of us in line who is taking too long, the child who is moving too slowly because he wants to do "by himself!" the person crossing the crosswalk with 4 children and doing it slowly as the 4 year old wants to hop across instead of walking briskly...and the list could go on.
As we get ready for Thanksgiving and head into the Advent season where the stores will be crowded, the lines will be longer, and the sugared up children will be slightly more off as they are overstimulated by the lights and sounds that accompanies the Christmas season, remember to grant each other grace. Greet each other with a smile and friendly hello. Hold the doors open for each other, be patient with one another, and grant each other grace.
Peace be with you as we head into the preparation of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 1:2 (NIV)