The evening meal had just begun. I could not have been much older than five. Everyone was passing the different dishes around to one another and soon the plates were filled.
I surveyed the table and saw that no one had offered me the pickles. I cried out, “No one passed me the pickles!!” Mom replied, “Susan, you don’t like pickles.” Pouting I said, “I want the pickles!”
The pickles were passed around the table, from one person to the next. Caroline, my middle sister, held them out to me and said, “Susan, would like some pickles?” “No,” I replied. “I don’t like pickles.”
The table erupted in laughter. At five I didn’t understand, but as I grew up I learned that whenever someone behaved like they wanted attention, they just want the pickles passed.
Every day we encounter someone that just wants us to pass them the pickles. It may be your child, spouse, significant other, co-worker, neighbor…the list goes on and on. They want you to pay attention, listen, be there – not just in the same room, but be there. People want to be encouraged and for someone to take the time to learn more about what makes them tick.
Is there someone in your life that just wants the pickles passed? There are so many lonely people out there. Look around at work, the neighborhood, church or even in your own home – you may see someone that feels isolated, empty and in the need of companionship. Make an effort. Next time you eat lunch at work see who sits alone with no one to talks to – take the step, pass them the pickles. You may find a new friend.
And if you are the one that is desolate and alone offer someone else the pickles, the results may surprise you.
Scripture: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up… (1 Thessalonians 3:11a)
Do I have this down pat? NO! It is one of my biggest struggles and probably why the Lord brought this story to my mind. I need to learn to be a better friend, mother, mother-in-law, wife, nana, etc. As I said yesterday, it is not about me. I need to make it about Christ and then the other people around me. I get consumed by work and other busyness and miss out on what is important. So, pray with me that I get better at this thing called life.