Where do you draw the line? My patience and politeness have been slowly roasting in the oven of God for quite some time now. But today, just in the blink of an eye, a timer went DING, and out flew the two ingredient, slow-cooked concoction.
Let me set the stage by giving one disclaimer before we begin. This will actually be a productive post, not a rant, like it’s going to appear at first glance.
It was a steamy spring day in Dallas. is there really any other kind? I mean really? It was, today, in fact! My heart was stirred to perform a random act of kindness. A sweet girl on our street was recently diagnosed with t1 diabetes, so I wanted to get her some fun low-carb snacks to put a smile on her face—and her mom’s too.
As I strolled the aisles at Target, I began feeling like I did when first shopping with my Bella after diagnosis of t1d. To my surprise, tears started to rise up within my eyelids. As quickly as I could, I wiped them away and strolled on toward the check out stand.
A nice young man signaled me to come down to register 14. Seeing there were plenty of people waiting in other lines and no one else around that noticed for at least four rows, I shuffled on over. Now… in my cart I had maybe 12 items—too much for the express lane—too little to let someone with a huge cart full of junk get in front of me. Ya know? Anyway, like I said, no one was around. And he pointed at me. I was the chosen one.
Shortly after I unloaded my first two items, a woman huffed into line behind me. In her cart, neatly laid, were 6 items, all of smaller size than what I had. She huffed again, as if she wanted me to tell the gentleman to void the already started transaction so she could scan on in and take my place in line.
I ignored her animistic sound and continued, at my usual superwoman pace, to unload my wares and promptly swipe my Amex…ahem before he’s even done scanning the final item. When he ever so sweetly handed me my receipts and pile of coupons, I moved my left leg to take my bags and my first step away from the stand.
(For effect, read this and imagine the next paragraph in slllllloooowww mmmmoootttiioooon.
BAM! SHAZAAM! I felt a slice of pain at the achilles tendon of my right, then stationary, foot. It was the cart of the growler. She shoved her cart at me as I grabbed my bags. Yep! That’s right, folks. She stewed at me all of the 60 seconds she waited and then chucked her cart at me. Now, had she not huffed and puffed, I would’ve thought it was merely an innocent accident. But guys, I’ve not been hit that hard by a cart, not even by my own, used-to-be reckless children. It was intentional! To make it worse, she said, “Oops, I’m sorry.” But it was delivered in a sarcastic voice and an I-meant-it tone.
I had half a second to respond. This was after I grabbed my ankle like I’d been shot. The Jesus in me wanted to say one of my go to lines: no worries; it’s okay; oh, I’m sorry or it’s okay. But y’all, it wasn’t okay. So I turned around, and while rubbing my injured ankle, I gave the silent glare. The one with squinted, beady eyes and pursed lips. I gave up an audible exhale and begin to casually walk/limp away.
I chose to NOT tell her my typical polite or pateint phases. Call me a hypocrite. But this woman needed more than what I delivered. She needed correction for her childish, impatient, rather violent action. Even clad in heels and a Christmas tree of jewelry, she wasn’t better than me, nor was she more important. She needed to see in my face, that it wasn’t okay.
Isn’t that what Jesus would do? After all, we are supposed to build each other up, not tear each other down. We are supposed to show kindness, compassion, love, patience and goodness. I did those things.
I pray my choice to hold back my sweetness in that momen will pay off in the long run. I could see she is used to getting her way and hurting people to get it.
I limped out to my car, loaded my bags and began to drive away. Again, pangs of pain shot into my foot and up my leg. The sin of her actions had tainted me and I could still feel it throb as I pressed down on the gas pedal.
It was another lesson I passed. Another chance to learn and discern proper reactions in the world we live. The enemy wanted to steal my joy and compassion, my act of kindness toward another ailing child. As I pulled into my driveway, God sweetly put a word in my spirit. He said I didn’t have to be run over and I did what He wanted me to do. He was proud.
God used it for good because I’m sharing it with you. I pray you find a way between patience/politeness and correction/disapline with confidence. We are called to be united, free and loving. Love corrects.
Don’t ask me if I really love her. k? God does and that’s all that matters now. I didn’t say, nor did I think what the old me would’ve.