I don’t know if it was due to lack of sleep, allergies, or Casey Abrams being kicked off American Idol, but I was in a testy mood yesterday. It all started at the traffic circle when I was exiting my neighborhood to run errands. There, some idiot totally disregarded the sign and the yield rules and nearly ran me over. It only got worse.
My first stop was the library. I pulled curbside so my daughter could run up and deposit our books in the drop box. She got out of the car, but shortly turned back, and through the open window said, “Mommy, that lady behind us wants me to take her books up, too.” I understood her hesitation – we’ve discussed “stranger danger,” but I was thinking, “Some nerve! Get my little girl to do what you’re too lazy to do!” Grudgingly I said, “Go ahead.”
When my daughter returned to the car she said, “Mommy, that lady was so nice. She told me ‘thank you’ and said she just didn’t want to have to get her little baby unbuckled from its car seat.”
“YOU are the idiot,” I said to myself. How many hundreds of times had I had a baby (or two) buckled in a car seat and had to undo everything just to run something in someplace? I knew very well what it was like to long for a little help. Chastised, my daughter and I talked about how good it was that she could be a blessing to the lady.
Of course, my mind was not thinking about blessings three minutes later when I attempted to park my van at the grocery store and found that the SUV in the next space was a good tire width into my space. Once more I was rankled. I parked my van, scrunched on the opposite line, all the while mentally composing a little note: “Dear Idiot, Learn how to park. I’m taking down your tag number. If there’s any red paint on my van, I’m coming after you.”
The first person I saw when we entered the store was a tall, regal-yet-tired-looking older woman. She was pushing her cart towards me, faltering with a severe limp!
“That poor lady,” I thought. And then, “What if that SUV is hers? What if I had left that nasty note?” I envisioned the hurt look on her face caused by “Yours truly, Idiot Stranger.”
This morning, in a reading that was surely ordained for me, I read these words from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening,”Consider the corruption which is in thy breast, and then wilt thou wonder that there needs so much of the rod to fetch it out?…Does not that proud rebellious spirit of thine prove that thy heart is not thoroughly sanctified?…God always chastises His children twice, if they do not bear the first stroke patiently. But know one thing – ‘He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.’ All His corrections are sent in love, to purify thee, and to draw thee nearer to Himself.”
That, indeed, is hope for idiots like me.