"One kind word can warm three winter months."--Japanese Proverb
Have you ever said something that you regretted?
Have you ever done something you regretted?
Have you ever been rude to someone because you were being defensive at how they were treating you, but then you realized, "two wrongs don't make a right?" (my mom used to always say that!)
Well, a few months ago, we started going to a new library. And the librarian there was not very friendly. I got a bad vibe from her right away. I could tell she didn't like me (or maybe I just felt that way) and so I justified my rude behavior towards her and my curt answers. I was unkind...and it was wrong.
I felt convicted one day and called her during nap time to apologize. And boy did it get even worse. She was even ruder to me on the phone and refused to apologize for her rude behavior even though the whole purpose of the phone call was me apologizing for being unkind and to "start over" so to speak. Satan kept whispering, be rude, be rude, defend, defend...and deep inside I knew my behavior was key and how I responded was the most important. So, I swallowed some humble pie, and took the "phone abuse" and promised her that I was truly sorry for offending her, and that whenever we came back to the library she could be sure I would be totally appropriate and respectful. (which was so hard to say since I wanted to say, "I could call your manager right now and report your rude behavior lady!")
But I realized, first of all, I needed to be humble, and I needed to swallow my pride. These two things are very hard for me to do when I feel I am being mistreated. I also realized what would be the purpose of yelling or fighting my case on the phone with her? I would just continue to feel awful and I would be wrong, and we would still have a rift. Then I thought, I just won't go back to that library. I love the library we normally go to, why bother going to this one. Why bother? Because I love the Lord. I'm confident in His love, and my job is to spread and show and demonstrate that love to the unlovable. AT ALL TIMES. And this lady needed as much grace as I did in the situation.
"Love means to love that which is unlovable or it is no virtue at all."--GK Chesterton
So a week went by, and our craft class came up, and we went. I was so nervous! I kept thinking, will she be mean again? will she be rude? How will she treat my kids? Then I resolved the fact that she could be an ice queen to me, but as long as she treated my kids kindly it didn't matter. I had done my part.
And guess what? It was totally fine. It was a tad awkward at first, but that was to be expected. I said hello, she greeted me kindly, she said hi to the kids with a smile, complimented Mark's hat, and all was well. I was so glad I had eaten that humble pie. It was worth every bite. Because it taught me a big lesson in kindness and grace, and showed me what a sinner I am and how everyone deserves a second, third, fourth, fifth, and so on chance...even me!!!!!
"Live as if everything you do will eventually be known." --Hugh Prather*All the quotes came from the book I'm reading, Random Acts of Kindness.