Even though nothing outstanding happened after I gave Blake my gift yesterday, I woke up this morning excited to give something. I had a short morning before I took a double shift at work, but started out the day with a triple egg sandwich and reading over a beautiful passage of Psalms that is very applicable to my life recently (Psalm 71:14-23). I've been reading it every night for the past few days. On the way to work, I tried to brainstorm something I could give. I had a lot of silent thinking time, because my 16 year old brother (who just inherited the right to share the car with me) has already broken the radio...the only new and nice thing about the car. Still at a loss for ideas, I took up ticket stand. My job while on ticket stand is to greet guests, rip their movie tickets, tell them the direction their theater is in and answer questions. I always try to be super friendly and helpful to our patrons, and it's pretty much my job, so I decide that being nice to strangers all day doesn't count as a gift. Then a terrible opportunity arose.
I had just gotten off ticket stand and begun to sweep up popcorn when one of my managers radioed our ushering team and told one of the girls to do a bathroom check. Even though one had only been done 15 minutes prior, we obliged as sometimes toilet paper runs out within the span of a few moments after a large movie ends. As I walked through the bathroom, something began to smell terrible. REALLY terrible. Bad enough I began to gag. I opened the last stall in the bathroom, and tada! Someone had had explosive, sickness-induced diarrhea....all over the floor. I nearly puked, panicked, and ran to tell the manager. Sadly, all they could do was send Gill, a fellow usher with a bit more experience who is just the most considerate man out of all our ushers. All they could give him was antibacterial spray, latex gloves, a mop and paper towels. I told him where the incident took place and asked what I could do. He told me not to worry and smiled half heartedly.
Then I realized....this was my gift!! I stopped him as he was about to start his lonesome trek through the ladies room and told him he didn't deserve to do that alone, and that I was going to help him no matter what. He smiled for real, obviously relieved although he also looked a little worried. He babies me a lot at work. We trudged in, and even he was taken aback at the sight and smell. It grew worse as we began to clean....several times we had to stop and leave the stall in order to stop gagging. But we did it. In the end, it was actually pretty funny. We tried to crack jokes, and kept each other talking and mentally distracted when we had to go in and scrub by hand, picking up partially digested lunch.
Nothing too great happened the rest of the day. In fact, one of our projectors broke down right before the last ushers were about to clock out, prolonging our evening by another 40 minutes filled with very angry movie-goers. However, I felt super happy for the majority of the afternoon. And not a "oh yay, I've got 15 minutes to drink a Mountain Dew before the next theater lets out" happy, but a deep down joy that comes from serving others with a cheerful heart, even when serving means helping clean up a very sick person's poop.