the other day i did a very bad thing. i got feisty (and not in the cute way) with a perfect stranger at a local place-of-business because i felt like he was talking down to me, like he thought i was just a dumb woman. i looked him straight in the eyes and said, “I understand that, SIR.” i was immediately ashamed. “where did that come from?” i thought. the man was actually trying to help, to do a good thing for me, but i let pride take over. it was if i had floated out of my body and looked down at myself- a little green warty goblin.
i’ve always been a rather feisty person, but i never let that show in public. my feistiness is usually used for a good cause- like protecting my friends and family. but i’ve worked in retail/customer service, so i’m always careful to be extra nice to customer service reps, store employees, restaurant servers, etc. because i know what they have deal with. and then i became the monster that i always loathed.
the worse thing is that i had friends with me, friends who expect something more out of me, friends who are still trying to understand what’s so great about Jesus. not that i’m perfect, or am even trying to be, but i did not show love in that moment. i did not show the love and grace that Jesus has shown me, the love that i boast about all the time. i felt like a huge meanie (and i’m barely 5 feet). i was so embarrassed, so ashamed, that i was even trying to grasp at straws of denial: “well maybe they didn’t hear me”, but they were standing right there. so i thought i would test the waters and i flat out asked one of my friends, “Do you think i was rude?” in the nicest way possible, he answered with a sheepish smile, “Yeah- a smidge”. oops.
when i left the business establishment, the guy i was rude to called out, “Have a great night” and he had the sweetest smile on his face. ouch. burning coals all over my head.
what a mess i am. thank goodness i’m Jesus’ mess now.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal…Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…” I Corinthians 13:1, 4-6