This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

Justice Button

>> Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I am having a crummy day. Not because of anything earth-shattering. Just because. I stepped on the scale for weigh in this morning and found I have gained half a pound this week. That's not the direction I want the scale to go (but it's what happens when you go out for pizza and ice cream in one night and then go to a women's function at church that is catered by Panera and is delicious!) Then I took my kids to the dentist and neither one of them were as cooperative as I would like. We proceeded to Target so I could pick up a prescription, only to find that the prescription I needed filled is OUT of refills. The reason it is out of refills is because the doctor's appointment I had scheduled for last month (the one where my doctor would have refilled my prescription for another year, because that's the kind of thing they do at a woman's yearly appointment) was canceled because my doctor called in sick. Because I had only gone to Target for the sole purpose of running in the pick up the prescription, I did not put my kids in a cart. I decided I would let them walk. I'm a dummy. In general I have well behaved children. I can't complain. They are fairly compliant. They have there moments just like all toddlers do, however, and today they both decided to have their moments in Target. By the time I left I was ready to wring both of their necks.

So my morning was off to a great start when I walked out to my car and saw a gigantic SUV (I drive a fairly big SUV myself. This one was bigger) parked over the line, in my parking space, leaving me about 12 inches on my driver's side for me to get Elijah into his car seat and myself into the driver's seat. Yeah, right. I slowly opened the car door and carefully placed it on the door of the car next to me. I knew there was no way to avoid bumping them. I might as well try to make it as gentle as possible. Elijah climbed into his seat and I wedged myself in between the door and the car seat to buckle him in.

That's when she showed up. The owner of the SUV. From behind me I hear "Your car door is totally banging into the side of my car!"

I whipped around and laid into her with all the frustration that had been building up in me for the whole morning. I pointed out how poorly her car was parked and how I had been extra careful not to damage it even though she had left me no room to work in. I didn't use any profanities or call her any names, but my voice was dripping with venom and my face was snarling at her, I'm sure.

I went back to buckling Elijah in, still fuming. Then God graciously reminded me that I have a Jesus fish on the back of my car. The back of my car that she was currently standing and looking at. She may not have even noticed, but I was instantly overwhelmed with shame. I am wearing the name of Jesus publicly and loudly and I had just embarrassed Him with my behavior.

I have a very large "Justice Button", as my pastor would call it. I don't take it lightly when I feel I have been wronged. It is against my nature in the flesh to sit quietly when something isn't fair. God has a large "Justice Button", too. Fortunately for all of us, His "Mercy Button" is just as big (if not bigger). Unfortunately for the woman in the parking lot this morning, my "Mercy Button" is occasionally microscopic.

Praise God that His power is perfect in my weakness. Before we drove our separate ways, I was able to look at the woman and tell her that I was sorry. I asked her to forgive my outburst and explained that I had had a rough morning. She was gracious and kind. We parted friendly and even shared a laugh about how tough being a mom can be sometimes. She didn't say this, but she might have had a tough morning, too. She may have snapped at me because she gained a pound this morning, also. I'll never know. What I do know is that God reminded me that my behavior should never be determined by someone else's. It should be determined by who I am and who I represent.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


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