Friday, 4 December 2009
Sometimes events coincide together, almost by conspiracy, only to accentuate something which you knew already but had kept at the back of your mind.
Father Ignatius went to his usual supermarket this morning and as he approached the door the customer immediately in front of him let go of the door which swung shut in the priest’s face.
It was obvious that the man saw Father Ignatius behind him as he looked back on entering the store; but he just didn’t bother to hold the door open.
Father Ignatius on the other hand, entered the supermarket and held the door open for the old lady following him. She entered, followed by a young woman pushing a pram, then two teenagers, then a young couple, and then two men talking with each other.
None of them acknowledged him standing there or thanked him for holding the door open. They walked past him and totally ignored him.
He found a trolley and started his shopping.
A few moments later a young man coming up one of the narrow aisles bumped his trolley with his; and continued on without apologizing.
Whilst buying his favourite ginger marmalade a short lady came up to him and asked: “Could you pass me that jar of honey up there? I can’t reach.”
He handed her the jar which she put in her trolley and walked away.
At this, the priest stopped for a moment of contemplation as he saw her turn in a hurry down another aisle.
“When I was young …” he thought to himself, “my mother always insisted on me saying please and thank you whenever I needed something … yet neither this lady nor any of those people coming through the door said thank you, or nodded, or even smiled … and that young man who hit my trolley didn’t bother to say sorry …”
And at that point his charitable nature came to the fore as his train of thoughts continued, “I bet none of these people are bad people … they don’t set out in the morning with the express desire to be nasty or rude … they’re just too busy and so rushed with the many things they have to do that they forget about the little niceties of life … unlike me … who only works on Sundays and have little else to do the rest of the time …” he chuckled to himself.
His thoughts then turned to the ten men healed by Jesus of a skin disease. Only one came back to thank Jesus.
“Where are the other nine?” asked Jesus.
“Perhaps they’re too busy doing their shopping …” thought Father Ignatius to himself, “… and I bet the five thousand who were fed by Him didn’t bother to thank Him or pay for the food either …”
On his way back to his car the priest witnessed an unusual event which pleased him no end.
A man drove by, parked his car, got out of the driving seat and walked to the other side to open the door for his wife.
The priest couldn’t believe his eyes.
He approached them quietly and with a smile said: “I’m so pleased to see that chivalry is still alive and doing well …”
“Chivalry has nothing to do with it mister …” replied the wife, “the car door on my side does not open from inside!”