It has probably happened to all drivers at one point in time: it was late on a Thursday afternoon, and I had decided to make a quick trip into our local gourmet grocery store for one last item I needed to make a new recipe. It also happened to be one of THE WORST times to decide to go get something, because everyone in Dallas had the same idea!
I rolled into the parking lot and saw a driver getting ready to pull out of his spot- right next to the front door! The parking fairies decided to bless us this day!
And then it happened. As I was patiently sitting, waiting with my blinker on, as soon as this person drove out, another tiny little car whipped into the spot. I was so angry; I quickly laid on my horn and started to yell at this poor person. There is an iconic scene in “Fried Green Tomatoes” that encompasses the entire moment.
As much as I wanted to “Towanda” this driver, only then did I notice that this was a mother with two babies in the back seat. She sheepishly looked at me, waved and pulled out. Immediately, I was convicted.
She needed that spot way more than me, a person perfectly capable of walking with an almost 4-year-old a few extra steps from a spot further away.
Foolishly thinking Oh well, it’s over, my daughter asked, “Mommy why did you honk at that lady?”
I tried to brush it off and just said something to the effect of “She took Mommy’s spot.”
Within about 20 minutes of shopping in the store, I saw the mom and her two adorable children and I immediately felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to go and apologize to her! I paused for a minute, seriously thinking about my sanity and what others around would think, and also, would this woman start a scene? I then blatantly, and completely disobeyed. I purchased my things and walked out of the store.
It’s not often that I deliberately turn my head the other way when asked to do something, help someone, give away my prize possessions to someone in need – whatever the case may be. My ‘love languages’ are gifts and time, of which I have NO problem giving freely! But when called upon to humble myself to apologize to someone I didn’t know, for doing something that everyone else in the free world would also do, I found myself failing.
It was a lesson in humility I needed to learn that day. How much did that woman and her children need to see the love of Christ, and I refused? What did I teach my own daughter about loving others and putting them first? I clearly still have a lot to work on.
I know God can and will use others when those He calls fail to do what is asked. I sincerely hope that another brother or sister stepped in and filled the gap for me that day. The question is, what blessings do we miss out on in our lives when we refuse to show kindness and grace to those who we don’t think deserve it? If we let our pride get the best of us, eventually we will crumble.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
1 Peter 5:6
PS: The meal that I made that night with my “special ingredient” I just had to have? It was terrible…we ordered a pizza.