This is the Tampa Bay, Florida area I always write from, which is slightly overcast today. You won’t see this picture on a postcard featuring Florida as the “sunshine state.” Even the sunshine state sees its fair share of storms. Likewise, even our most cheerful friends see their fair share of life’s storms.
Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy. Proverbs 14:10 NLT
Most everyone knows that, in elevator etiquette, you allow those exiting to get off the elevator before you get on. Still, one day after visiting my Bible student in the hospital, I was riding the elevator down to the parking level. When the elevator came to a stop, I started to exit when I got stampeded by a family of five entering. After they were finished walking all over me, I quietly exited. I did not recite to them the rules of riding the elevator. It’s not that I could not stand up for myself. I can and I have. Its just that I finally learned a lesson a while back.
In my adult years, I have learned that some of my schoolmates while growing up were going through some awful situations at home. When I learned of this I wished I had known way back then, so I would have been able to me more kind and compassionate with them. Then I realized I did not need to know what they were going through in order to be kind and compassionate. I could have just been nice no matter what. That would have covered that without even having to know.
So when the people ran over me on the elevator, I just told myself, they may have just heard some terrible news about their sick loved one in the hospital and are in a hurry to see them or the doctor. Maybe, maybe not. But I didn’t have to know. I could just be nice and wait till they were all inside the elevator before I exited, which I did this time.