Luke 6:28 "bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."
One day last week I got the mommy thrill to actually snag the front and center "for expectant mothers" parking spot. As I hopped out of the car a little lighter and walked to the other side to let Scotch, our dog, out to take him inside the Pet Shop for a much needed haircut, I accidentally bumped the car beside me with my door. Yikes.
I saw the owner was sitting in the car, so I leaned forward to motion and say.."I am so sorry about that!" and as I did, she lept out of her SUV with some serious 'attack'. I won't go into the details, but to say I was cursed at repeatedly, the care of my personal car was insulted, asked if I was even pregnant (being that I was in the much coveted spot) (yes, I am, 30 weeks!)...all in front of my precious 2-year-old, while I continually apologized and must have looked stunned.
I walked Scotch inside for his haircut and could not hold back the tears, y'all. Has this ever happened to you? Maybe not, but those of you who have ever recieved a unwarranted verbal bashing, read on.
True, I opened my door in a way that made contact with her vehicle (no damage done, btw, but even so). I should have been more careful. But this punishment did not fit the offense.
And so, I wrestled. So many thoughts. I emmensly enjoy a friendly outline, so allow me to list:
- I wanted to sink and disappear. Maybe Scotch's groomer could give me a new look too.
- I wanted to go find the lady and give her the piece of my mind that seemed absent at the moment of conflict. You know...the words we fantasize we wish "we would have only said...".
- I wanted to run into her while I was doing something valiant for my fellow man so she would feel intense remorse as my "kindness" was on display for her to see. All the while knowing that is the complete sad opposite of what Jesus tells me to do in Matthew 6:3, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing".
- I wanted to curse her back (at least in my mind, being that Alice was in the backseat).
- Since she insulted the condition of my car (it was filthy, yeah, yeah) I wanted to get it detailed and roam around until she saw me and would have to eat her words.
Yes, all of those things came up in this heart of mine.
But God, what do you want me to do? Bless those who curse you, Bless and DO NOT curse... I hear from somewhere deep inside... that still, small voice.
I knew there was opportunity to be had. Opportunity for God to get the glory for this story. You see, if I had thought of the "right words" to zing back at her in the moment, I would be asking for forgiveness and regretting what I modeled to my daughter. If I grew bitter, went into the "what if" mind games any longer, longed to show off some sort of kindness to brew regret for her... I knew Satan would be getting the glory for this story.
So I pray, thank you, Jesus, for protecting me from my own mouth. Bless her, Lord, I choose to forgive. Alice and I prayed together for this new person on our prayer list. We asked God to speak to her, to bring salvation for her, to bless her, to love on her, to heal whatever wounds caused her to lash out in such a rage to a complete, pregnant stranger for an unnocticable bump to the rear driver side door of her car.
As the day went on, every time the getcha fantasies came (and they came, oh they came), I prayed, Alice and I continued to pray, Wes joined us in prayer, until that evening I prayed again, and something shifted. I felt such intense sorrow and compassion for this woman from deep inside. I knew God was getting the glory.
Who is getting the glory for your story today? It is so easy to let the day to day drift away, totally unaware of the impact interactions, disappointments, victories, hurts and frustrations have on the world around us.
By God's grace, I surrendered to His will...this time. There have been many moments, my friend, I am sorry to say, where I have allowed Satan to steal the show by my words, thoughts and actions.
That day, my daughter saw her mom living her faith, regardless of her feelings and the actions of another, my day did not make a massive downturn into depression and "woe is me's", my husband did not come home to a bitter wife, and a stranger who may have no one in her life to pray for her...does now. The next time may be different, but this time God got the glory. Thank you Jesus.
Do you have a God glory-story to share? Please do!