I’ve been spending a bit of time today going over what I call “lessons learned this month”. But today was different. As you know, I’ve been involved in an online Bible Study called “When A Woman Says Yes To God“. I started just going over what I had underlined in the first 6 chapters… pondering and praying about some of the thoughts that really struck me.
Well I didn’t get very far into Chapter 1 and I read this:
” When you look at your everyday circumstances through the lens of God’s perspective, everything changes. You come to realize that God uses each circumstance, each person who crosses your path, and each encounter you have with Him as a divine appointment. Each day counts, and every action and reaction matters.” (page 16)
It struck me that it’s not just my words… but my actions that tell the story of who I am and what I stand for. People that don’t know me can, and will, judge me by my actions. It doesn’t matter the cross I wear around my neck or carry my bible to church on Sunday. That is not what they see, what a stranger sees is my actions in any circumstance.
Well, that hit me like a brick…
A bit of back story. As some of you know from reading this blog, I live in a condo building with 19 other families. Well someone without a good deal of wisdom decided that 20 families need only share 2 washers and 3 dryers??? I know, it’s crazy but it is what it is. Knowing that there are lots of moms with lots of kids here, I try my best to make sure that I don’t keep anyone waiting for the machines.
Well I don’t know what happened on Thursday. I had put done a couple loads of laundry and promptly put them into the dryer, thereby leaving only 1 dryer free.
Now I know for a fact that 4 quarters runs the dryer for 52 minutes. I know for a fact that I set the timer on my microwave for 51 minutes so that I am sure to be there when the dryer finishes.
Well… not Thursday. I know that I set the timer. But for whatever reason, when I went down the hall to the laundry room there was some strange woman folding my towels!!! I am embarassed to say that I totally lost it. I did not have any nice words to say. While I didn’t cuss in my out-loud voice, I sure did alot of it in my head. I started slamming things around… I think my final words as I left the laundry room were… “you were totally out of line. I don’t care if you have laundry to do, we all do. THIS had better never happen again. ” Like I said, totally ugly.
I can’t give you a reason why I went nuts. Just did. I was hot and tired and lots on my plate that day. All excuses.
Well today when I read those words – “You come to realize that God uses each circumstance, each person who crosses your path, and each encounter you have with Him as a divine appointment. Each day counts, and every action and reaction matters”. I realized that that young woman saw and heard nothing but ugly when it came to my witness as a child of God. I felt the conviction deep in my soul. Only one thing to do.
I didn’t want to do it. I mean, no one is home today. I’m here alone. No one would know what went on with all this. I could have just repented and vowed never to do it again. Asked God for forgiveness and moved on to the next thing in my day. But I didn’t.
I stopped for a minute and prayed a quick prayer that this young mom would be open to my apology and down the hall I went. She answered the door and her eyes got big. I think she thought I was there to yell at her again. She stepped out into the hall and I told her that I was there to apologize for my behavior the other day. I told her that I didn’t know why I acted the way I did, but that didn’t matter, that anything I said would only be an excuse. I asked for her forgiveness. Then she started apologizing for doing what she did. I stopped her and told her that she had nothing to apologize for, that the confrontation was entirely my fault . She said yes, she forgave me. We smiled and she reached out to squeeze my hand. I said thank you and wished her a blessed day.
I don’t know that any of this made a difference in her life. I know that that is not what all this is about. This is about me listening to the sometime convicting voice of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you Lord for this amazing lesson today.