Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Parking Lot Confession

Last week Shell did a post on Pour Your Heart Out about how one small, simple, kind sentence really made her day (or motherhood in general).

Isn't that how it works?  Our words can be rich morsels.

Anyhow, I vowed I would say something kind last week... and not just so I would have something to brag about.

But you know what is weird, the second I decided to do it, I looked around and found no one deserved it.  -----> Judgmental Mom Confession

Okay, the friends I'm around always deserve it and I support them and their parenting efforts so they didn't seem like fair targets.  Being kind to those you love is easy.

On Thursday I had a different sort of opportunity.

I was  leaving a parking lot and someone cut me off.  Now, the line on "my" end of the parking lot was huge.  Getting cut off meant I was at the back of a GINORMOUS line.

I wanted to go home.
I wanted to see my family.
I might have cussed.
There's a good chance I yelled at the woman who cut me off--you know.  Just in case she could hear me in my car at the back of the line.

And then I did what any calm, rational, and loving person would do.

I threw my car in reverse, flipped around, and sped angrily to another exit.

My intent: Get in the line in the road that keeps people in the parking lot from getting out.  I was gonna show that woman!  I was gonna get on the road first, darn it!  I was going to cut off the cutter-offer!

My plan worked perfectly.

Well, almost.

There was that small still voice in my head, the one that even though it was quiet, somehow managed to be more convicting than the "Stupid Woman!  You won't beat me! I'll cut YOU off!" rampage happening in my self-thoughts.

The small voice said: "Choose My way."

That's it?  Choose My way?  That's what you've got for me God? But she cut ME off?  Didn't you see that?  Didn't you see how rude she was?  How selfish?  She made me angry!  She doesn't deserve my patience!"

"Nor did you deserve Mine."


Grace. Unmerited favor.

It gets me all the time.

My car inched closer to the parking lot exit and there she was, waiting in her not very nice red sedan.  I looked at her behind that windshield. Older.  Tired. Waiting.  Suddenly my mad became His compassion.

Maybe she had a bad day.  Maybe she is sad or broken or lonely.  Maybe she cut me off because she is exhausted from working and going to school.

Maybe it had been a long time since someone had shown her a little grace.

So I told the justice and "right" seeking voices in my head (Yeah that's right lady, you cut me off but I'm gonna win!) to shut up and I let the distance between me and the white Jeep ahead of me get bigger and bigger.

And I waved her in.

What I think is our words--especially the dialogue we have in our head--matter.  And so do our actions.

I'm grateful for the parking lot incident.  It showed me places of my heart that are vengeful and self-seeking.  But it also showed me a capacity to be kind and to remember.

I'm where I am because of unmerited favor.  How can I not pass it on?


  1. Sometimes there's a lesson for us in the small things!

  2. Stumbled on the story completely by accident. but read your story anyway. Thank you, it was beautiful!


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