Robin admired the intricate and colorful design in my hand-made Italian plate. It had been a gift to me from my former boss following her trip to her husband’s homeland. Robin barrowed the beautiful plate to copy the pattern. During the time she had it, she handled it with extreme care, worried that she would damage my treasured gift. Finally, one Sunday she brought the plate to church, relieved she was giving it back unharmed.
With the plate carefully wrapped in a paper bag, Robin started to hand it to me. Before I could reach it a corner of the bag caught on a table edge and fell from Robin’s grasp. In an instant, the plate shattered. Robin’s smile melted into horror and tears flowed as she watched her greatest fear come true.
The plate stayed where it landed as I threw my arms around Robin. “I’m so sorry,” she sobbed. “I know how much that meant to you.”
“Not as much as you do,” I assured her. “It was only a plate.”
The following Sunday, a church member said to me, “I saw what you did last week.”
Puzzled, I asked her to explain.
She said, “I stood back and watched just to see how you would treat my friend when she broke your plate. Thank you for comforting her instead of making her feel worse.”
I had no idea anyone had witnessed our encounter. As Christians, our actions may be judged when we least expect it. I was glad my priority had been Robin’s feelings.
Have you ever learned afterwards that your actions were being watched?