A Note In The Wall

I received a note today. Here’s what it said:
“Dear Reader,
You should have worn a different shirt. You also could lose a little weight. Hopefully you know Jesus so there’s hope that you can lose that extra weight & not look like Santa Claus. Try to be nice to someone now and then. You just look like someone that would be rude.
XOXO”
I don’t know who wrote the note. It was written to me. Of that, I’m sure. Otherwise, why would I have been the one to randomly look in the chinks of the old brick wall in the pizzeria to see if there were any notes left there? I’ve never even considered doing that before, but tonight as I helped the Lovely Lady put up some decorations in the restaurant, I just had the thought that it might be a neat place to stash a note and there, sure enough, I found the note written on a torn and rolled up table napkin. It could only have been meant for me.
First of all, let me explain the shirt. I was wearing a dress shirt, when I should have been wearing a work shirt. And, I did get the Sunday shirt dirty as I worked up at the ceiling in the lighting grid, hanging ornaments. My dad wouldn’t be proud of me, because this is clear evidence that as a child I didn’t learn the lessons he tried to teach me about changing clothes before going out to play. I will just have to trust that the Lovely Lady will be patient as she has to spray the pre-wash solution on the spots. This problem though, I can fix.
As to the weight which needs to be lost…the author of the note was not the first anonymous person to inform me of this fact today. Earlier, as I completed the online health assessment required by my insurance company, I was told in no uncertain terms that I should try to lose twenty pounds. The insurance people even had the gall to tell me that my waist was “dangerously large”, along with some gobblety-goop about the ratio of my waist to my hips, and then…well, you get the picture. Believe me, I didn’t need this note to tell me anything about my weight. That said, I think I may be able to take care of this issue, as well.
Santa Claus??? That’s it! I’m shaving off my beard tomorrow! I knew the white in it made me appear old, but…Santa Claus? Okay, so the comment was still pertaining to my weight, but I can shave the beard a lot faster than I can lose the weight. It’s a shame that all makeovers aren’t as easy as this one promises to be.
I’m not really sure that I want to tackle the last issue at all, but I will admit the writer does make a valid point. I can be rude.Just yesterday, the Lovely Lady suggested that it wasn’t appropriate for me to address every slow driver ahead of me on the two-lane road as an idiot. Of course, this was immediately after I had flipped my bright lights at the backside of the cars in front of me. They were, after all, going at least five miles per hour under the posted speed limit. The nerve!
I wonder what it is about me though, that told the note’s writer I might be rude. They were not wrong. I just want to know what gave me away. Of course, I know that when my face is set in a frown, as it seems to be more frequently these days, the message presented to the people who see me is the promise of a stinging tongue. Even Solomon knew that in his day. He suggested that just as the north wind brought the rain, so a caustic tongue would bring a bitter countenance, or appearance.
This last issue–the problem of being rude and unkind–will take much longer to address than the beard, or the weight, and certainly longer than changing my shirt. I think that I will need to pay close attention to this one. The cure is sure to be one which will take much care and diligence on my part. It is indeed, a heart matter. I won’t be able to tackle this on my own, but I already have the answer, it’s just a matter of making application. As the author of the note suggested, I do know Jesus. The grace with which I’ve been blessed is intended to extend to all I come in contact with. A new creature…that’s how we are described when we’ve experienced His grace.
Now, this is where the rubber meets the road and we get to see if I’ll allow the grace to flow to others. Time will tell. I really don’t want to be a rude person, or even to seem like someone who could be.
There may have to be more notes before this is done. I wonder where the next one will turn up.
I just hope it tells a different story.
“The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance.” 
(Proverbs 25:23~NASB)
“I know that my face ain’t no star.
But I don’t mind it, cuz I’m behind it.
It’s the folks out front that get the jar!”
(Anonymous)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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