O give thanks to the Lord.... —Psalm105:1 (rsv)
I have always felt it is my mission in life to get people to say thank you when they are complimented. It seems demeaning to the compliment-giver to hear that the pretty blouse you admired cost $1.98 at Goodwill or demeaning to God that another person hates the freckles that He put there and that you think are adorable. I speak my piece when the opportunity occurs though I always wonder if my message gets across.
So I was surprised one day at a coffee shop I rarely go to, when the girl behind the counter said, “I have to thank you so much for something you did for me!”
“Me?” I looked around the counter to see who she was talking to. She nodded, shaking her red curls vigorously. “Yes, you said you like my auburn hair color and—”
It was coming back to me, so I replied, “And you said, ‘It’s really dirty today. I have to wash it.’ Then you pointed out a speck of hot chocolate on it, which nobody would have noticed without a magnifying glass.”
“Yes, and you forced me to just say thank you. You said that if someone says something nice and you shrug it off, it’s almost like disparaging God’s handiwork.” She poured my coffee. “You know, I’ve thought about that a dozen times and even passed it along to a lady at church. I even prayed that you’d come back so that I could thank you, and here you are!”
“Well, it’s not a unique idea,” I said. “I’m sure others have said it better than I could.” Then I saw the look on her face and said—what else but—“Thank you.”
Written by Linda Neukrug