by Yvonne Ortega
Oh, no, I need a nickel for my four pennies. I can’t leave the kiosk with one gallon of water in the two-gallon jug. The kiosk won’t take pennies.
I looked for well-groomed men and women, who walked in or out of the grocery store by the kiosk. I tried to get their attention. Why did they turn away from me? That morning, I took a shower, shampooed my hair, and wore clean clothes that matched. With the words, ma’am, or sir, I addressed each adult with respect to no avail. Maybe someone put a sign on my jacket that read, “Please pay for my water.”
A man with sandals, long hair and a beard came along. I had never seen him before. He won’t look my way much less help me. My eyebrows rose to my hairline when he said, “Are you short of money, ma’am?” I explained my penny shortage, and he pulled out a nickel. Then he said, “You have two one-gallon jugs in your shopping cart. Here’s a dollar.”
I thanked him and explained that the two jugs were already full of water. I had judged that man by his appearance — the very thing I resented when people judged me as a divorced woman.
I hurried home to continue my work on a chapter dealing with anger because of the treatment of divorced women. I hated to hear ministry leaders say, “You’re divorced? You can only work in the kitchen or the nursery.” My face flushed. I had done the same thing to a stranger who dressed like Jesus. I confessed and repented from my own judgmental attitude. Now I could tackle the chapter on divorce with compassion and fresh understanding.
Yvonne Ortega speaks with honesty and humor as she shares her struggles to help women find freedom, joy and peace in life’s challenges. She’s multi-interviewed for her Moving from Broken to Beautiful® Book Series. Yvonne celebrates life at the beach where she walks, blows bubbles, builds sandcastles, and dances.