Even when no one sees you. . .

About 30 boxes into my route the other day, I came over a rise that ends in a cul de sac and found 4 women standing in front of their mailboxes having an intense discussion. Not wanting to interrupt them lest they were solving the world’s problems – (though none of them had a cup of coffee in hand) – I sat far back and drank my Snapple peach tea.
The distance at which I sat said this to them: “I have no desire to rush you away from your mailboxes because, being a woman, I know the value of finishing an important conversation.” Being women, they read my message clearly, finished it all up, waving gratefully at me and 2 of them drove off, two of them returned to weeding flower beds next to the mailboxes.
There are 3 sets of boxes for these townhouses, 6 on the right, 8 straight ahead, 4 more on the left. Most of these ladies are widows with the exception of one man, a widower. It is for this reason that last winter’s snows found me getting out of my Jeep at each set of mailboxes in front of which the plows had carefully deposited their mountains of snow. I knew it wasn’t their fault that the plows had done this, but I couldn’t bring myself to just drive past day after day under the guise of ‘this is a driving route and I’m not supposed to get out and walk up to the boxes’! After all, there are over 600 more people waiting after these ladies (and gentleman) and should I slip and break something, instead of sympathy I would get, “And what were you doing out of your vehicle, walking mail up to mailboxes???”
So I got out everyday for weeks, stepped up to the snow bank and placed their mail in each box. Each time I would pray, “Lord, protect me here! Don’t let me slip and fall!” and then I would thank Him as I got back into my Jeep and drove on to the next box, and the next, with my shoes already soaked and frozen . . . only 4 hours left to go!!
I am always running into things I don’t want to do on the route . . . someone plops their trash cans in front of the mailbox – I get out and move them, get back in and drive up to their box. They park in front of their box – or 1 foot past it (“I wasn’t blocking it!”) All well and good if I had a 1 foot front end on my Jeep. . . and I wind up getting out and servicing their box, or pulling up and having to back up to get out of the situation ( a postal no-no.) And I can’t do this with a stinking attitude, especially one that shows on my face! Mailmen, in general, have a fairly bad reputation with a lot of people, from what I have heard. It is my job, as a Christian, to overcome that with my customers and make sure they know that I am different, that I enjoy serving them, and I hope they will ask why or recognize why. I have been given an opportunity to be a silent witness to 650 families, day by day and year after year! The fact that it is a job that I get paid for is a bonus!!
And that brings me back to the cul de sac of women.
In the heat of August, I pull up to the boxes where the 4 women had solved the world’s problems and smile at the 2 ladies still standing there. As I am putting mail into the boxes, one of them turns to me and says, “You do an awesome job as our mail lady!” To which I replied, “Well thank you!”
And then I heard these words, “I saw you last winter, getting out and putting our mail in the boxes – you didn’t HAVE to do that, but you did.”
And I realized that my heavenly Father had just given me a gift, 8 months after the fact. He let me know that my service had not gone un-noticed, and that even when you think that no one sees, even when you do things for your audience of One  . . .  that someone is always watching.