Forgive the little things that don’t matter


A couple of Saturdays ago my hands were in serious need of a perk up. I happened to be in town anyway so I found my way to a local nail shop. I got there four minutes before the shop was set to open. I was the only person there and was thankful to beat the long lines. Let me tell you this, for those of you that have never tried to get in a nail shop on Saturday, it is a miracle to get in without a line. I waited as the one lady setup everything for the day by herself.

Just when she was about to get started on my nails an elderly woman walked in. As the lady motioned for her to sit in the chair next to mine the woman asked “how long will it take, I have to go in to work at 12.” Evidently, she had come the night before and they were too busy to take her.

I looked at this lady (who I later found out was 83) and decided I wasn’t in much of a rush anyway and told the technician to start on her nails first. I sat at the chair beside her half focused on the cooking show on the  tv in front of us, the rest of my focus on the lady that sat beside me. If anyone knows me, they know what happened here.

I, of course, started up a conversation. We sat there and talked for 30 minutes and soon all my focus was pulled off of the tv and on to her. I sat beside a woman who worked two jobs, a woman who was once a surgical nurse, a woman who had lost one child and the other lived out of state. I listened as she told me stories from her youth up until now. I watched as she showed me a clear picture of herself through her words.

When the acrylic dried on her nails, I noticed she didn’t have a color picked out for her nails. She must have read the expression on my face as the technician began to paint a clear coat over the clear acrylic. She said “I don’t get a color because I don’t want to draw attention to my hands. They have brown spots and the arthritis has my joints swollen.”

I sat quiet for just a moment choosing my words, careful not to offend this lady who had previously shared her life story with me. I grabbed the pink polish that was waiting to be painted on my nails and suggested she get this hot pink because I think her hands are beautiful.

She started pointing out the flaws once again. She brought up the brown spots and the arthritis while pointing to each one as if I hadn’t seen them before. I stopped her mid-sentence of her complaint. I said “Those hands have saved lives while working as a nurse, those hands have nurtured and cared for your children, those hands manage to work two jobs right now, and those hands held your daughter’s hands as she passed away. Those hands are beautiful.”

I could tell she had never had anyone tell her something like that before. She sat there for a minute speechless then thanked me for my way of thinking. We chatted a little longer as her polish dried and soon we went our separate ways.

So many of us carry our insecurities with us each day. We notice the flaws in our body, personality, and life. Rarely do we take in the amazing things we are able to do every day. We forget to forgive a flaw that most don’t notice. I fail to realize for every person we envy there is someone envying something about us. Strive to see yourself how others see you and forgive the little things that never really mattered anyway.