Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Interlude

Work has been a series of noisy crescendos, one after another. I'm neither a noise girl nor a crescendo girl. No Beethoven's Fifth for me. Just keep the music (and the work) moving along at a steady pace, with appropriate pauses so I can take it all in.

Anyways, a total God-thing happened today. I've taken over one of our most um, trying accounts, a large account in a difficult market with a reputation for demanding purchasing agents (yes, the market, not just this one particular customer). It goes like this: We try. We fail. Customer is not happy. We try to fix the problem. We create new ones. Customer is not happy.

I am new to the account. So is my contact. In spite of one failure after another of late, Mr. Customer has been amazingly gracious. This afternoon I had to give him a bit more bad news.

Me: I hate to tell you this but XXX (bad news). I'm really sorry.
Customer: Oh no! Don't tell me that! I'm going to have to shut myself in my office again with a book!
Me: Oh yeah? What are you reading? (Seizing the opportunity for a diversion from the issue at hand!) I usually read at lunch too.
Customer: Max Lucado's 3:16!
Me: (light bulb goes on!) Ahhh, sounds like we have similar tastes in reading.
Customer: Hmm, must be why we've managed to both be so nice in spite of this terrible situation!

Interlude: A short piece inserted between the parts of a longer composition

This was like an interlude in my day. A different tune. A little calming reminder that God is involved in every bit of our lives. Not standing off to the side, as an dispassionate observer, but intimately involved - right in the middle of it all.

The phone conversation ended and the discordant noise soon resumed. But all afternoon, strains of that interlude lingered, no doubt God's answer to prayers of a friend. A God-thing indeed.