Day 17: 30 Days of Gratitude

Today I am thankful for a cookie.

It has been a tough day for lots of reasons. We all have those days when one thing after another makes us want to go back to bed and cover our heads with the blankets.

Unknown to me, our dog broke the door handle mechanism yesterday evening. He sleeps in the entryway when it’s cold outside and has learned how to open the door by repeatedly scratching and pulling at the handle. Which irritates me for several reasons. He’s scratching the door up, he opens it and goes outside and then the door is left wide open, etc.

So no-one could get in or out because it was broken. My mom was able to get a knife into the door and got it open, but it was something that had to be dealt with and couldn’t be put off until later or another day. So I had to go to the home improvement store at 8:30 this morning. That’s not especially early for me. The problem was that my list of stuff I needed to get done did not include spending two hours messing with a door handle issue that was created by the dog’s behavior that is already irritating to me.

I know — it’s not a big deal. It was just one of those “last straw” moments.

I got to the store with the old parts that I had disassembled to find something that would fit the exact size of our door and the holes where the opener fits. There really is not a standard system here on doors. In the USA you can go to the store and choose from hundreds of options but any one of them will fit most any door. That’s not the case here. You choose from hundreds of options, but you have to choose the exact size with the screw holes in the exact spot they should be. There are lots of variables and it’s not a matter of choosing the kind you want. When I’ve bought them here before, it is more like you find the couple that will fit the door and choose the one you hate the least. Therefore, I was in no mood to go through that this morning.

I walked into the store in a bad mood and prepared to be in a worse mood when it was over.

The security guard that was working at the entrance is a guy that we have “known” since we first moved here. He worked security at an electronics store when we moved here and then moved over to the home improvement store when they opened. He’s generally the most cheerful one in the store.

I bought a coffee at the kiosk in the store’s entry and I walked up to the security guard so he could mark the bag of parts I brought in with me (cause someone might think I stole a bag of old door opener parts) and he smiled and said “Good morning! Oh, you have work to do this morning, I see. Here, you should have a cookie!” I have NEVER had someone in such a position offer me a cookie. But he had a little container of them and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I guess he saw that look in my eye that was about to go over the edge. I don’t know. The bonus was that it was one of my favorite little Ukrainian cookies that has a sweetened condensed milk filling.

I walked into the store with my coffee and my cookie (and my bag of parts). At first I resolved I would not be swayed into a better mood by a cookie. But alas, before I could help myself, I was feeling better and dipped the cookie in my coffee and enjoyed the treat. I go to the aisle where I had to figure out which one or two models would work on our door. I looked down on the bottom shelf because I thought I saw not only one that would work, but one that was exactly the same as the old one – which meant that it would definitely fit on the first try with no alterations! Sure enough, it was perfect.

I’m still not in a great mood. However, I am grateful for that cookie. Not because of the cookie, but because of the overboard-kindness of a security guard in the home improvement store. God blesses us in some unique and unexpected ways.

Chris Malone

Chris and his family serve as missionaries near Kyiv, Ukraine. Chris and his wife, Mary, have nine children. Five of their children have Down syndrome and four of those are adopted from Ukraine. Their four older children are in various stages of starting college and starting careers.

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