Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
Sunny Saturday skies drew my man and I out on one of our motorcycles for a ride about town and a lunch date recently. We took the old bike that has so much character we usually cannot help but make a stop at an auto parts store for an additive “treat” or new part to give it one more life or a little more vim and vigor while we’re out.
This time, while we were in the store, everyone within its walls were accosted by the strains of a woman cussing and bellowing about an elusive part she needed for her truck. The clerk helping her was going out of his way to be obliging, which dampened the tirade she had worked herself into, but didn’t quite dull the edge on what she was saying and how she was saying it. This clerk even went so far as to call another store in town to see if they had the part in stock so she wouldn’t have to wait for it. She was impatient while he dialed the phone and stalked to the door to yell something at someone waiting outside. I took the opportunity to give the clerk assisting her a thumbs up of encouragement before my husband and I left after making our purchase. The clerk smiled back, and then made his request when the other store answered his call.
My husband and I walked out to feed our bike the additive we’d purchased it, and while he nursed the motorcycle, I observed that there were two vehicles parked on either side of us now. A newer full-sized truck with waiting young woman gabbing with someone on a cell phone to the left of us, and an older compact car with waiting elderly woman people watching on the right side of us. Always thinking in stories, I was struck by the irony of the ages. The younger in the newer vehicle, and the elder in the older vehicle. Both women eventually looked over. It took me a bit, but I was able to coax a smile out of the younger, the elder freely gave of her smiles.
The door of the store opened and the caustic woman that had been making a scene inside, began yelling obscenely at the younger woman in the truck beside us. Put out, the younger woman slammed her cell phone down and answered her with a roll of her eyes and a muttered curse word. This exchange happened a few more times before the woman inside the store crashed out to her truck and tore out of the parking lot with as little thought for anything or anyone around them as she had during her time in the store. We all moved out of their way and breathed a sigh of relief when they were gone.
Meanwhile, my husband had been trying to get our motorcycle to start. Our bike was being obstinant…it needed a nap, and we knew this but wanted to get to a restaurant down the way for some lunch. The elder woman in the car next to us was making small talk with us and trying to be positive and encouraging about the bike starting. Eventually, we chose to walk to the restaurant and wished her a good day. She jokingly said she would watch our bike for us and waved us off. I thought about how classy the older woman was and how genuine and kind she seemed. I couldn’t help but compare her with the two women who’d been parked on the other side of us. Their truck may have been fine and new, but they lacked class – sadly, they lacked love and respect for anyone else, and they lacked the truth.
Jesus said in Luke 5:31-32, It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. LORD, I pray the response the caustic woman received for her tirade softened her to hear when you call. I pray that these young women see that the things they have are not making them happy. I pray that they fall to their knees before you in submission very soon because I want for them the joy of knowing You and serving You. I pray you keep us all vigilant of our responses to people like them. That we are able to obediently love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who mistreat us. (Luke 6:27-28) Thank you LORD, in love and honor for You I pray in your holy name. Amen.