working. serving. loving.

there are days when I love my job. I am never entirely sure what brings tthem on. Perhaps it is the smell of the bank, the stuffy air after it’s been closed up over the weekend. The stench of stale paper and sun baked computers. Or the feel of the money between my fingers, bills ruffling over each other as I shuffle them in quickly counted, tightly bound bundles that keep my drawer neat and tidy and under my limits. It might be the roar of the TCR cash counting machine as it comes to life, switching days and rumbling as it tests itself, preparing for the newest calendar day. Or even the sound of the vault dial rolling over and clicking into place with each number. And certainly, the customers who I know by name are always a blessing.

Though I’m not sure what it is, I can always tell when it is one of those days. Today, when Jessi smashed her key into the stubborn front door, I had to keep myself from sighing heavily in exhaustion. I do adore Jessi. But I was tired, and she is a talker and I was in no moood. It’s Monday I thought to myself, and I am scheduled for 49 hours this week. But she started by asking me about Nick–the drive up guy who I went out with last Tuesday. Has he texted me? Have I heard from him? Does he have another job yet? Is he back from California? Did he send me any pictures of the beach like he promised? And all these questions I was more than happy to answer.

Because last week I went out with this customer, named Nick. And it was so much fun. He talked openly, he has some ambition, he wants to help people, and stubbornly refuses to buy into the American Dream. He was complimentary and he has pursued me which is a wonderful feeling as a woman. He is good looking and drives a truck when he’s not on his motorcycle. He has two tattoos, one of which is a cross and he has this endearing quality of brashly speaking his mind.

But of course, there is one hitch: he doesn’t know Jesus.

And I don’t think Jessi has clued into the fact that I do know Jesus. I think she just figures I’m this sweet innocent child, and that’s why she teased me that I’m like a school girl when Nick was texting me today and Hakeem was laughing at me and I could only blush and giggle and shrug that I didn’t know when I’d see him again. Of course, there was the nagging tug on my hear that I wouldn’t be seeing him in the way she hopes for. Because I’ll have to tell him about Jesus and the great love I have for a saviour that rather trumps every other possible relationship.

Back to Jessi not knowing about Jesus, and we come back around to one of the reasons I love my job. She invited me camping with her and her boyfriend (who she lives with). “You know, maybe in like, August. When you two are more friendly and you’re more comfortable, you and Nick can come camping! Eric and I have an extra tent. And it’s not even a little one, it’s a big tent, with a wall in the middle, so you two could even be in separate rooms, but still close!” She adds this last part because she knows I am a virgin, but doesn’t quite grasp that my reasoning entails a bit more than lack of sex.

I love my job because people are so real. No one hides. And I love my job, because I love being different. No, that’s not quite right. But I don’t know how to say it. In the midst of pushing papers, greeting customers and processing hte same transactions every day; between calling Sherwin Williams to say they’d improperly endorsed a 12,000$ check and would they please come get it?–after this I am this person who is getting to know my peers. I get to love them. Today Hakeem brought Jessi and I chocolate. On Saturday Elisa texted me a “thank you” for the coffee creamer I left her, and then wrote me a note and taped it to my computer. Chuck, on the phone, laughed with me and said he misses working with me. And Abby absent mindedly gave me an approval even when I couldn’t explain what was going on, because she trusts me.

I love my job because I have this incredible chance to be Jesus to people. And I don’t mean that I’m very good at it. Today I trashed a customer who was a bit snobbish. I sort of snapped at Hakeem, and I laughed about Nick and gave the impression that I am very interested–which was a bit of a lie (with the lack of Jesus thing). But it is so great, I can’t believe that Jessi invited me camping with her. I didn’t know she liked me that much. And Elisa is so excited to start working with me again… and who does Elisa like? And so, I say all this, not to say I am a great person. Because, as I told Caitlin recently, I know my sin. And I find myself more wretched by the day.

I just say this, because I want to share what I realized on the treadmill tonight while my knee was sending sharp pains up into my thigh. God can change anyone’s heart. I am sitting on the back porch, wreathed in a halo of light that illuminates only a tiny bit of this enormous world. But it’s sorta like me. Jesus can change anyone, and for some reason I have been given a great privilege to see him do it in the lives of those I have come to love.*

Nick, David, Chuck, Hakeem and Jessi. And they are only a few.

________________________________________________

*Last night, I leaned out of our big arm chair in the living room to emphasize my utter shock as I shared a recent revelation with my father: “it’s so WEIRD! I actually kind of like Americans. I mean, it’s like they’re human! Isn’t that so weird? I mean, really! I like Americans?” But it’s true. Somewhere, in the abyss of the bank, between safety deposit boxes, tree batches and confidential envelopes I fell in love with Americans and their hurting souls. [and that my friends, can only come from a great and glorious God who knows no bounds]

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