I cautiously took my seat among the crowd of girls. They were gathered in a tight circle, with one seat left empty especially for me. One girl was already crying and trying to explain herself, another one sat with her arms crossed in an act of protection more than defense. I tried to quickly sum up the reason for the meeting, but before my mind could calculate what was being said, I heard my name. The luxury of being a spectator was over…I was officially involved.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I repented. I had no idea that I had disappointed the wife of the family I held in such high esteem. As I wiped the tears away with my sleeve I noticed the other girls were tense and rigid, they had evidently heard a mouth full before I arrived. While I tried to gather my sense of calm one of the other ladies spoke up. Instead of just accepting the accusation thrown her way, she asked what she had done wrong, how she had offended…why she was being told that she wasn’t serving with her whole heart.
The room went silent…more tears streamed down my face.
The wife started crying as she recanted how as a team we had let her down during one of the most difficult times of her life. She was upset about one of us not helping her bring in the groceries, another girl let the baby cry too long. Someone else left the dishes in the sink and asked to leave early. She implied that we were making her life difficult in the midst of trying to ease her load. We just weren’t serving wholeheartedly and she had to let us know…she needed to tell us that she was disappointed…she needed us to work harder.
I walked to my car, hanging my head as I placed one foot in front of the other. I hated disappointing them, but I had no idea that my acts of unpaid service were not meeting up to her standards of excellence. I drove home as the sun set before me and vowed to do better…I had to make them proud.