Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Image courtesy of Michael Elliott/

Image courtesy of Michael Elliott/

It was shortly after January 1, and I was feeling frazzled after a long round of errands. Traffic was thick and so were the crowds inside the stores once I got into them. But perhaps most irritating were the old electrical gadgets and appliances clanging around in the trunk of my car.  I’d loaded them in there not realizing that the recycling center I usually go to would be closed until the 10th of January! I thought I could withstand a few days of the noise, but fatigue and endless errands had frayed my patience with the noise, so I decided I’d take a chance. I pulled into the parking lot of a national electronics store, stood in line at the Customer Service desk (yipes, more crowds and fatigue!), and, when my turn came, all but threw myself at the woman “manning” the desk.

“Do you take old electronic?” I asked, mentally crossing every finger and toe.

“We sure do,” the woman replied, grinning as if I’d just told her she’d won a million dollars.

“CPUs? An old toaster oven? An old light? An old computer keyboard?”

“Yes!” she nodded.

Now, I felt as if I’d won a million dollars.

“I have them in my trunk, now,” I told her. “Can someone help me bring them in?”

“I’ll do it!” she replied.

Still grinning, the woman snagged a handcart and the two of us went out to my car, where I showed her the overflowing box that was taking up nearly my entire trunk.

“Oh, I’ll get it,” she said, insisting that she lift the box out herself. “You have a good day, now.”

She started to wheel the cart toward the store, and I walked with her.

“I still have some shopping to do,” I told her, and we laughed about the irony of my recycling some things so I could get new ones.

Inside the store, I thanked her and said, “You really helped my New Year start out well.”

“It’s a blessing,” she said. “I’m happy to help.”

“Well, you’ve been great. I hope you have a truly blessed 2015,” I replied.

Her smile faded a little, and I could tell that she, too, was tired and, perhaps, had been having a difficult time, too.

“I’ll keep that,” she said, “and take it with me, too. Thank you so much.”

She disappeared into the back of the store, and I went on to shopping, feeling very uplifted and realizing more than electronics had been recycled. From fatigue, frayed nerves, and other troubles, God’s light had shown through and more – His light was brighter, as if it, too, was recycled.

We never know when we’ll have the opportunity to meet a brother or sister in Christ and share a moment of God. Sometimes, it’s obvious, but sometimes, we have to make an unplanned stop at the end of a long and frustrating road – and there it is!

Joy and peace,


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