The other day, I walked into the post office with a package to mail and was delighted to find no one in line.
What a great day... I was first in line at the post office!
Wait... there was no one behind the counter, either.
There stood a can of Lysol, front and center, in front of a cash drawer, left unattended on the counter.
Shortly, I heard an unfriendly, angry voice, "Don't come near my work station" and something along the lines of "you have no business coming to work sick."
As a meek rebuttal came from the sick person in the back, the angry worker approached the counter and made eye contact with me and retorted, "I'm with a customer," and then something to the effect of
stop talking to me and go home you sick person...
Next, the voice of the sick person in the back mentioned something about
prostate cancer and having compassion.
The angry worker offered some curt reply, and forced himself back into his work station,
putting the Lysol down under the counter.
He weighed my package, as if he could just barely bring himself to touch the key pad on the register.
Package weighed, the angry worker grumbled, "The nerve of that guy! He has no business coming to work sick and claiming he can't stay home because he doesn't have any more sick days!"
Just a postal customer, happy to have my package in the mail by the deadline,
I asked if the Mother Theresa stamps were available.
And as the angry worker reached down to the shelf to pick up the panel of Mother Theresa stamps, he looked at her face on the stamp and said,
"Speaking of compassion..."
Yes, speaking of compassion indeed!
Blessed Mother Theresa chose to live with and serve the poorest of the poor, the sickest of the sick.
It was as if just looking at her image caused the angry worker to reflect on the state of his own soul, and upon his reaction to his sick co-worker.
Nothing else was said, outside the usual closing of a postal transaction,
but it felt like something had changed.
How often we push the sick away, whether they are sick in mind, body or or spirit.
How easy it is for us to just erase them from our minds and spray some
Lysol to rid ourselves of their contagion.
In Blessed Mother Theresa we have a model of humility and service to the sick and the poor.
We remember her and all the saints in a special way on All Saints Day.
May their example lead us to holiness!