I have been blessed with a last name that is frequently mispronounced. As a matter of fact, even though I have known Chris since the fifth grade, I mispronounced his last name until we started dating and he politely corrected me. And the blessing of an easily mispronounced last name…I can identify a telemarketer in mere seconds!
I would begin this story by saying, “It was one of those mornings…” But as I thought to write that I stopped. “What, one of those mornings where God woke me up to another day filled to the brim and overflowing with His new mercies? One of those mornings where my children and I woke up in a warm house with food in our pantry? Yeah, one of those mornings.
Back to my telemarketer conviction and Holy Spirit Kapow…I had just pulled out of my drive when my phone rang. Although it said Wisconsin and I don’t think I know anyone in Wisconsin, I answered it. The man on the other end asked to speak to Chris. Not unusual since my number is Chris’ old number and this number was connected to a fence business Chris owned–9 years ago–but still. “May I ask who is calling,” I responded. “Yeah sure,” the man replied casually and friendly, “This is Caleb.”
I’ve never heard Chris mention a Caleb, so I thought this might be a fence call–yes, we do still get them occasionally. So I inquired again, because normally on the second inquiry the caller will say they were needing an estimate for some fence work. “I’m sorry, who were you trying to reach?” I asked. “Chris…” and then a brutal butchering of our last name–left off the entire last syllable type of butchering.
“Oh come on dude,” I replied. “At least get the last name right or semi close to right if you want to speak to him. Take us off your call list and don’t call again.” I think Caleb hung up before I got to the “Don’t call again” part. “Telemarketers!” I thought as I continued with my day. But later in the day…
As the morning’s incident came to mind later in the day, my indignation turned to conviction. “Jenny, how is that telemarketer supposed to know how to pronounce your last name? You couldn’t even pronounce it for the eight years you knew of Chris’ family before he corrected you? What if this guy, Caleb, was just trying to do his job to support his family? Maybe telemarketing is a second job–like a pizza delivery guy Dave Ramsey always talks about–trying to pay off a load of debt so he can call Dave and holler, “I’m Debt Free!” Hardworking guy trying to support his family or international scam artist, why couldn’t you have just politely said, “Please remove us from your call list. Thank you.”
Ouch Holy Spirit Kapow! Convicted over how I spoke to a telemarketer–Good one.
But wait, He wasn’t finished with me, my heart needed another lesson.
There was an issue with a child recently that left me disappointed and hurt. My mood and attitude toward this child reflected my hurt and disappointment. And then yesterday while waiting at piano lessons, I was reading Matthew 5 and 6 in my journaling Bible.
To me, that meant I was to correct my child for for the behavior in a loving way…and then move on. My mood and attitude were not to change toward the child based on their wrong behavior. And then in Matthew 6
I don’t want God to hold a grudge against me because I’ve disappointed Him. I don’t want God to be anything other than pleased to see me, welcoming me with open arms. There is an issue of confessing wrong doing involved. of course. But it’s easier to go to someone and make an apology for a sinful behavior if they are welcoming to you and ready to extend mercy and forgiveness.
So let me go back and say, “It was one of those days.” One of those days where my heart needed some firm redirection. One of those days where my attitude was getting “a little big for its britches” as my grandma used to say. One of those days where His new mercies were obviously poured out on me as I spent time with Him in the scriptures. He used that time to teach, correct and train. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Thank you for this honest and reflective sharing. I sometimes need to talk to myself when I find I am not in the right space with others…I tell myself “Come on Clare, you are meant to be a woman of the Gospel…” I find it helps me.
Clare I love that! What a beautiful Daily Affirmation–I am a woman of the Gospel!
Lux Ganzon says
Jenny, I love it when you bare the truth in your posts. You don’t pretend to be perfect but you strive to be pleasing to God’s eyes which I think we all should do. Thanks for sharing your experiences and your faith that has always been inspiring. 🙂
Thank you so much Lux. Your words are so kind. Thankfully my good Father knows I need the “easy’ lessons–baby steps to holiness.
Some years ago, Make a Wish Foundation sent us to Give Kids the World in Kissimmee , Fl. Anyway, when we were leaving, they handed me a book that was about the founder. He came to this country willing to do any work he could and ended up a Disney Resort owner and much, much more.
Anyway, one of the things that I admired the most about him (other than caring about sick children’s only wishes, of course) was the fact that whether he was bell hopping or co-owner of a Disney Resort, he treated everyone the same way ~ with kindness and respect. Once, when he was instructing a housekeeper as to their duties, a foreign dignitary entered the room. He politely made them wait and gave the housekeeper his full attention.
Great story Jenny. I struggle with telemarketers often times and especially when they are down right rude.
Thanks for sharing your story Michelle, it’s a beautiful example.
Debra Alexander says
I set appointments for insurance agents and know how hard it is to cold call – it is important to be nice, it is their job – we sometimes forget – great post.
Thanks for the visit Debra. Do unto others…an important lesson I teach my children and the Holy Spirit teaches me.
Christine Leeb says
How much I love when God trains us and gently (and even sometimes not so gently) puts a mirror up to our faces to remind us that we reflect Him in all that we do. Everyone deserves our love. Thanks for sharing this is such a comical, personal and real way. I really enjoyed this story and the lesson behind it!
Thank you Christine. It is good to be able to laugh at ourselves. Humor and grace are a great combination.
Christine Leeb says
Amen! I’ve learned to be very humble in my 40 years of life and very full of grace towards myself and others! 😉
Colleen Mitchell says
I love the word Glennon Doyle uses, perspectacles. You needed to put your perspectacles on that day to see things in a way. I am trying to be better remember that too –when I find myself thinking the DAY is careening off kilter, to ask myself is it really my perspective that is off? Most of the time, the day can be changed my a shift in MY attitude much more quickly than waiting for the circumstances to change.
It always…ALWAYS amazes me how much one slight shift in my attitude changes the whole outlook in the rest of the day!
Before I went to seminary, I worked at a telemarketing call center. So I can understand both sides. That Holy Spirit has a way of giving us that big ol whammo reminder.
But thanks be to God for those whammo reminders!
Anita Ojeda says
Ouch (but in a good way). I have more patience for telemarketers than I do for people who answer the calls at my insurance company’s claims department. They constantly lose paperwork and delay reimbursing us…it hurts my wallet. Thank you for the reminder that I need to be friendly, courteous and NICE to everyone. Forgive and move on.
Oh man, calling our insurance company is painful! The hard part is getting to a representative in the first place.