Remember a couple of days ago I said I was going to show compassion. Gee, it sounded like a good idea. I thought I might be made uncomfortable a bit. You know, like giving money to a homeless person or something like that. Nope, God smacked me upside the head with an issue I never expected.
I was verbally assaulted in a grocery store parking lot. That’s right….verbally assaulted. What’s worse is that it was someone I know. Well, I don’t know her that well. I know her face, not her name. We used to go to the same church.
I was getting my 2yr old out of his carseat when I heard, “HEY!” shouted at me from across the parking lot. I turned around, recognized the woman, and smiled a huge smile, ready to greet her. Before she was even two rows away from me, she was yelling at me. I was so not expecting that…obviously, since it took me a couple of minutes to stop smiling. I must have looked like an idiot. lol
She called me all sorts of weird names like “kool-aid drinker” (no, I’m not kidding about that) and “idiot.” I opened my mouth to respond, but nothing came out. I just stood there. Here’s what was running through my mind…..
1. Hey, lady, my kids are right here! Don’t you see them?! Have you gone completely insane!?
2. “Kool-Aid Drinker?”
3. Are you really saying the words, “I’m the real Christian here” while yelling at me in a parking lot?!
4. If my kids weren’t here, I would so totally kick your…..
And that’s when the Holy Spirit stepped in. Nope, He didn’t stop her mouth (though that would have been nice). Instead, He convicted my heart. She obviously had some issues that she needed to deal with. She obviously wasn’t dealing with them very well on her own. She obviously needed someone to pray for her.
No, I’m not trying to be sarcastic by saying that. I really mean it. This is a woman who clearly has problems. She absolutely should not have taken them out on me in front of my kids. But isn’t it better that she take them out on me instead of someone who might have done #4 on my list of thoughts?
I quietly re-buckled the 2yr old in his car seat, got the 4yr old buckled in and left. She kept yelling the whole time. I didn’t look back, but I’m betting she was yelling the whole time I was driving away.
I said I was going to show compassion. This is definitely NOT what I had in mind. But isn’t that exactly what I need to do here? I need to pray for her. And I’m not talking about a selfish prayer like, “Lord, show her that she’s wrong.” No, instead my prayer is, “Lord, bless her. Bless her with Your peace, Your love, Your comfort. In her anger, calm her. In her sorrow, comfort her. In her confusion, bring clarity. Forgive me for my anger. I’m so sorry. Thank you for keeping my tongue quiet when I wanted to respond. Wrap her in Your love. And when she comes out on the other side of her anger, show her that it was You who brought her through. Let it bring glory to You so that everyone will know that You can accomplish whatever You desire…even calming an angry heart.”
To be honest, I’m not feeling very compassionate. But then, I said that I wanted to show compassion, not just feel it. And I said that I would make compassion a verb. So now I’m praying for someone that I’m angry with (still working on the anger issue right now). I didn’t think it’d be easy, but I didn’t think it’d be this hard either.