I got grouchy with someone the other day. In front of family. Sigh.
But let me not start there.
Instead, let me start with an old TV series Melanie and I have been watching. It’s a mystery show. Only, for a change, it is not about murders. Signed, Sealed, Delivered comes from the Hallmark channel usually known for their romance movies. Those are what first drew Melanie’s attention. She’s been a fan for awhile now. Then we learned Hallmark was also doing mysteries.
SSD takes place in a post office dead letter department. The mysteries are about trying to track down the recipients or senders of mail that has been damaged or misdirected in transit. These plot lines offer many opportunities for happy endings and answered questions for people who wonder why they’ve lost touch with each other.
The foursome that runs the dead letter office on the show has grown on us. They are amusing and endearingly quirky. And God used one of these characters – a TV show character! – to rebuke my grouchy attitude the other day.
Shane, played by Kristin Booth, is the most normal one working at the dead letter office. It began to sink in with me that her character was being written as someone who was very patient, someone who could bite her tongue and say nothing in response to provocation. One of the best moments showed her kindly offering directions to a handsome older man. The man wasn’t exactly flirting with her, but he was enjoying talking with her. Their conversation was ending. Shane turned to go back to her office.
Wanting to linger a moment longer, the man grinned and made a lame joke. “Shane! Come back!” For those who need an explanation, that’s the final line of an old western movie called “Shane.” The man was grinning, amused by his witty application of the line now.
We got to see Shane’s expression before she turned around to the man again. You can practically read the question in her eyes. How many thousand times has she heard her name used in this joke before? How many more times will she have to listen to it?? Everybody who uses it on her thinks it’s cute. Actress Kristin Booth underplays the moment, letting us see a very quick gritting of her teeth before she patiently and politely turns back, smiling, to see what else the tiresome customer needs.
Jesus was apparently watching TV with us. It was as if he poked me in the ribs. “See that? Did you get that?”
Well, I’ll have to work on that a bit more but, yes, I got it. Learn to grit your teeth if you must, Rick, but keep smiling when you are irritated. Be patient with people. A thousand times, if necessary.
Later I got curious about who created this show? Her name is Martha Williamson. She created the Touched By An Angel series. She is a Christian. She deliberately writes characters who demonstrate grace. No wonder Jesus watches her show.