I saw that a day this past week was set aside as “National Grouch Day.” Have you ever wondered what is really at the heart of someone you may think is a grouch? You never know what someone is actually going through or what may be the cause of a “grouchy” mood. Here’s an email I received from someone who wanted to share her experience:
“This morning I was listening and wanted to share a story in regards to “grouch day”; however, it was dark and rainy while I was driving and I needed to concentrate! I hope you are able to share my story…
Earlier this summer my husband and I stopped at our favorite Mexican restaurant. While we were eating a woman with 2 young children came in. Shortly after their arrival, one of the children started having a tantrum of sorts and the mother was unable to console her. This went on for some time. You could feel the tension in the restaurant rising, and people were grumbling and staring at this woman. My children are 19 and 24, but I have not forgotten how embarrassing and frustrating it is to have a child acting out in public. Something moved me from my seat, and before I knew it, I was sitting next to her. What came out of my mouth was not what was in my heart at the moment. I said “can I help you with something?”. Immediately the woman’s eyes filled with tears and she began telling me how she was going through a divorce and had just picked up her kids from her spouse and this is how they act when she picks them up. I told her how sorry I was she was going through something like that, and then I chatted with the kids briefly. It seemed to calm them down. I did say to her that I didn’t know where her faith level was at, but I encouraged her to find a church where she could get support. She mentioned that her neighbors had offered to take her to church with them, and I encouraged her to do that as well. I went back to my seat and my husband and I left shortly after. A man grabbed my arm as I was walking out and told me what I nice thing I did for that family.
You know, it wasn’t me who did that. It was Jesus. This is a lesson about not criticizing someone who may appear grouchy or, in this case, unable to manage their children, without really knowing what is going on in their lives. It was a huge eye opening experience for me…”
Look for a grouch today and see if you can make a difference in their lives through Christ.