Monday, July 11, 2011

Praying for People Who Yell the F Word and Flip the Bird

          Funny how we must remember our own advice and how easily we forget it.
          On June 26, I did a blog called, “Acts of Love Toward All … Good and Bad.” What an inspiring writing, but I must have missed my own message.

          One would think that when she is doing a good deed and showing a selfless act of love and friendship, that the day and her surroundings would all fall into place in a lovely way. Life just doesn’t work that way, but my fairy-tale brain does.


          I have a dear friend who never asks for anything, but she did on Thursday. She has suddenly fallen ill; her cancer has returned with a vengeance. Without hesitation, I assured her I would be there that day.
Due to the progression of the cancer, she must have oxygen at all times because it is now in her lungs. Her breathing is labored, making her voice very weak. Sometimes it is a whisper. Also, she has been choking. Therefore, in addition to what she asked me to do, I took a baby monitor so her caretakers could hear her at all times and also took 2 soups so she would not have to swallow solid food on her difficult days. It is these situations when we want to help, but we do not have the means to do what would REALLY help … so we bring baby monitors and soup.

My 12 year old daughter was with me as we made the 30 minute journey to her house. We were driving along the road and I was on the phone trying to make sure I did not miss my turn. Though cell phones and driving don’t mix, sometimes I do talk and drive.
Possibly, I was going too slowly? I’m really not sure what I did that was so terrible. To my surprise, I heard a horn honk, saw a blue truck with an overly infuriated man and his equally enraged passenger in the lane beside me.
My little girl said, “Mom, what’s wrong with him? Why did he just yell the F word at you and stick up his middle finger? That’s bad.”
Both men did vulgar hand motions for me to see. 2 of the gestures were ones my daughter had never seen, until they showed her.

Now, I was enraged. In all honesty, I really wanted to ram my car into him like bumper cars. I had been bitten by the deadly road rage bug.
How dare they do such a terrible, tasteless thing to a female and especially in front of a young girl! Did they not have mothers, wives, daughters or even nieces?!? And besides that, it would be just as terrible for a little boy to have seen such. What do people like that do when someone REALLY does something intentional and bad to them?! I don’t even want to know …

My daughter was distraught, I was distraught. Then, I realized that I needed to refocus and get my mind back to what was important. In less than 2 minutes, I would be at my friend’s house. Did she want or need to hear about my insignificant, over-and-done-with troubles? No. She has greater issues to focus on that an uncouth man and his crude buddy making asses of themselves.
I shook it off and re-centered my attention to her and her needs. I did what she had requested and left shortly after because I knew she was very tired.

That night, my 12 year old and I were in the kitchen before going to bed. (We rotate saying prayers at night. She does one night and I do the next.)
She said, “Mom, I know tonight is your night to pray so I wanted to ask you to pray for those guys who said and did those mean things today. They are obviously going through something bad to be acting like that and they really need somebody to pray for them. Maybe they will be nicer then.”

That’s when I got humbled to a place I had not thought to go. I wanted to ram my car into theirs, not pray for them. I have written about doing the right thing over and over, but it never entered my mind in this situation. They were wrong, I was right, and that was that.

That night, I prayed for the impolite young men who are also God’s children. God must stay stressed with all of us being His kids and acting the way we do.
All along, I thought He was smiling upon me and my goodness because I was helping another person in need. My real feelings and reactions to the men in the truck didn’t get factored into the equation until my child innocently pointed out a proper way to handle it. I had most likely not made God smile and wink. He was shaking His head …
Not only does this remind me of my blog about anointing a cancerous tumor, but it sounds really similar to the scripture about trying to remove the speck from my neighbor’s eye when I cannot see the log in my own.
Thank God He put children here to guide us with their wisdom …

Praying for people who yell spicy words at me and shoot me birds,

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