Warning: This is a long post. If you make it to the end, you should be commended.
After my Tuesday started off good, thanks to my son who makes us laugh, it turned to bad around 4:45 that afternoon. Everything up until that point had been great. I had been working on my teaching focusing on John 4, the story of the woman at the well. I fell in love with that story and what I saw about Jesus-He met this lady where she was, pursuing her to the depths of her heart, exposing her hurts that so needed to be healed, showing her that He knew her better than anyone, and He loved. I was really excited as I was working on my manuscript, sitting at Pepperoni's drinking Diet Coke by the gallons. It is funny-when I work on my teachings, I work so much better at a small restaurant with Diet Coke. Anyways, I left to pick up the younger kids from school, then went back to pick up my oldest. The Other Nut was home so I left the younger ones there with him. Glorious alone time in the car, even if I didn't have to go far. I had my windows down and the radio on. This may sound like I was driving fast, letting the wind blow through my hair, but I was only driving 25 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. Eventually, my phone rang so I picked it up. I didn't answer it yet, because a motorcycle pulled out in front of me so I slowed down a bit, and then from behind his motorcycle from the other side of the street, ran a squirrel. Well, I thought I had hit it, because I couldn't get out of the way. I kind of jumped and was sad that I might have killed it. I still had my phone in my hand, but hadn't answered it yet. I passed the apartments, heard someone yell, and then I answered my phone. I talked for about 5 seconds, because it was my oldest just seeing if I was on my way. I hung up and continued on. About that time, I heard this loud motorcycle behind me, then a small really short siren with some guy on the motorcycle screaming at me to pull over. I freaked out and started to pull over, not even bothering to notice that he had normal clothes on without any markings of a police officer on his motorcycle. I even hit the curb as I pulled over, wondering what in the world I had done wrong. It is not illegal to talk on the phone where I live, unless you are in a school zone which I was no where near. I also wasn't speeding. He then pulled up beside me still on his bike and proceeded to yell at me for killing that squirrel. He said it was all because I was talking on my phone, and I killed a squirrel. Well, let's just say that I didn't immediately love how Jesus loved when He was at the well. A fire immediately got lit under my behind, because I couldn't believe that he was sitting on his bike yelling at me and he never even claimed to be a police officer. I, of course, was too mad to think about asking him for proof and if he wasn't one, driving off. I actually sat there trying to defend myself to some guy that I didn't even know. How ridiculous is that? The local police department doesn't think he was an officer, because he didn't really follow protocol-he should have identified himself as an officer, and stopped his bike behind me and come to my window on foot. The Other Nut of course was upset that I even stopped without any proof and that my window was down. He was worried about my safety. I was too mad to be worried about my safety. Oh, how I wish I could go back and say the right things. The thing is I don't want to go back just to be more loving in my tone and speech. I want to go back to ask him if he is an officer and if not, don't ever do that again. And this is where the bad turns to the ugly.
You see, I have a really hard time having compassion and loving people when they do stuff like this. I get easily annoyed and mad. I can stew for quite a while and sometimes my feelings get hurt. Sometimes I stay mad for a while and sometimes I cry all day. Pitiful, I know. I even told my kids that I named him the motorcycle moron. How about that for a good example for your children?
The reality of my sin didn't take me long to see. This is something that has happened before. There have been numerous times that someone has done something that is honestly wrong and anyone would have a hard time with it. Yesterday, when I went to the doctor's office, the people at the front desk wouldn't look at my insurance card even though I told them it was different than what they had on file. I am not kidding! They kept insisting it was the same so I eventually had to actually read out the numbers and show them like they were little kids. My tone wasn't very nice, because I saw them as incompetent. I didn't understand why they couldn't just do their job. By the grace of God, I didn't say what was in my head. I wanted to ask them how they keep a job and why they were so lazy. Isn't that awful?
I know I will keep having encounters like, because I think Jesus is up to something. You see, Jesus wants me to love like Him and have His compassion; and because He knows the depths of my heart, He knows I need a lot of help in this area. I have a lot of cracking that He has to do in this area. I'm not saying that you aren't supposed to be assertive at times. I really needed those ladies to look at my card so my insurance information would be right when they filed my claim. It is OK to ask for identification from someone acting like a police officer. It is only natural to be hurt and upset when your neighbors yell at you over silly things. The problem is my HEART. I don't love these people. I want to say mean things to them. I want to tell them that "Jesus loves you, but I don't." And yet, Jesus wants my heart to love them and to look at them through His eyes. I am supposed to be wise enough to know when I don't need to be assertive and try to make my point known-some things can just be let go. I don't have to like what they have done or said, but I am supposed to love them. That is very clear in the Gospels. I AM SUPPOSED TO LOVE, and when I don't, it doesn't just hurt me or the other people involved; it hurts the reputation of Christ. I want to learn to love like Jesus did when He met the woman at the well. I want to look at people and realize that they have deep hurts just like I do.
I have a long way to go in this area. Jesus has a lot of cracking to do on my pride. I ended up speaking with my kids about my lack of love for the motorcycle man, how I shouldn't have named him the motorcycle moron, and about how Jesus really wants me to love, even in difficult situations that make me mad. I told them Jesus really wants me to learn this. My oldest told me "well, mom you know that just means that you will come into contact with a lot more people that make you mad don't you?" How true, my sweet daughter, how true.
This day may have turned bad which turned to ugly, but how wonderful the truth is that Jesus can turn even our ugly into beautiful!
p.s. I didn't even hit the squirrel, because we all know I went back to that spot to check. You know, just to check on the squirrel.
p.s.s. I clicked on this blog after I finished writing this and saw that she wrote something similar in her post called Breathing Deep. I encourage you to read it-she writes so beautifully, honestly, and so Christ-centered.