For reasons that have no bearing on this post, I was feeling rather blue and melancholy yesterday. This was not good for two reasons, namely a) I don't enjoy being blue and melancholy and b) I had a shift at the Distress Centre coming up. It's tough to be genuine and compassionate and understanding of distressed people when you're stewing in gloominess yourself. However, you cannot simply cancel a volunteer shift on the fly, as people are counting on you to live up to your commitment. Well, you CAN cancel your shift, but you'd feel guilty and it would put a black mark on your record and would make things more difficult for the other volunteers.
So rather than cancel my shift, I went and told God that He should really think about cheering me up, because I couldn't cheer myself up, and it was primarily other people, not me, that would be at stake if I didn't feel happier again.
God has a sense of humour. Yesterday it snowed and snowed and snowed and turned to slush. My boots are warm but by no means waterproof. And I walked from the C-train to the DC. At least once I put down my foot to find water almost up to my ankle. Do you think this made me more cheerful?
Nobody (as far as I'm aware) likes wearing damp socks. I certainly don't, and I didn't expect damp socks to be the pick-me-up I needed. And technically, they weren't, as they quickly changed from damp to wet to sloshing socks. There's a point where something just gets so ridiculous you forget to be grumpy and laugh instead. For me, it was the moment when I wondered whether other people walking around me could hear the water splashing my toes INSIDE my boot every time I picked up my foot. You know, seeing as the boots were meant to keep my feet dry and all.
So I was standing there, waiting to cross the street, wondering if my feet were going to freeze to the pavement and thinking it might actually be more comfortable to just take my boots off and walk the rest of the distance bare-foot, and I giggled out loud. I didn't laugh in disbelief. I giggled. And I felt a lot better.
Goes to show that even though God does promise to comfort us, He doesn't always use conventional methods to do so.
I wrung out my socks and jeans at the DC and crawled under my desk (to the amusement of the man in the next booth) to put my socks and boots on the heater by the window. I then proceeded to answer the phone line as well as I would have any other day - with just as much empathy and patience. And the man in the booth next to me gave me grocery bags to wear in my boots over my socks on the way home, so my feet stayed dry.
I think I forgot to remove the "DON'T FORGET YOUR SOCKS" memo from the phone booth after the shift was over. I wonder who found it next.
"Everything is funny, if you can laugh at it." Lewis Carroll