Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fill It with Regular This Instant!

Just another day at a gas station in Oregon. I pulled up, turned it off, pulled the gadget that pops the door to the gas tank, and rolled down my window. Yep, we get served here in Oregon. No choice. It’s against the law to pump your own gas. I personally love it. Me, get waited on? Yes, please! Others complain that they’d rather pump their own, but who are they kidding? It RAINS here in Oregon, people. Milk the law for all it’s worth and enjoy staying dry as you are served.

“What can I get for you?”
I say the usual. “Can you fill it with regular, please?”

His eyes sparkle and he says of course. I hand over my plastic and reach for my phone. Never one to waste time, I might as well send a text or two.
When the pump clicks off, I wrap up my texting and the guy comes back with my receipt. He’s smiling.

“Thank you!” I say.
“You’re welcome. … Uh, hey – you have a big, unexpected voice,” he says.

“What, do you mean loud?”  I know I can be a little boisterous and feel bad that maybe I yelled at him.
“No, no! It’s smooth and deep – kinda husky. I mean, I hope you don’t take that the wrong way! I mean it as a compliment. It’s deep and … I mean, your voice just doesn’t match you. But I like it! It’s a compliment, a compliment.” The poor guy was fumbling all over.

It’d been years since someone (tried to) compliment me on my voice. I laughed and sought to put him at ease. “No worries! Your compliment is well received. Thank you.” I smiled. “I hope you have a great day!”
The whole thing was the definition of “awkward moment,” but at least the timing was appropriate for me to pull away. As I did, I wondered what kind of voice he expected from me. Do I look like a high, squeaky voice type? Or a soft-spoken murmur kind of gal? I have no idea. But I’m kind of glad I’m unpredictable.

What about you? When you speak, are others pleasantly surprised? Of more importance than the sound of your voice, what is the tenor of the words that you bring forth? Are they uplifting, encouraging, assuring? Do they cause the listener to pause, and to walk away with an extra bounce in their step?  When you speak, are your listeners moved to higher ground?
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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