Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Whole Truth

Have you ever had an experience where you are 1000% sure that you are being truthful about something, but there's no way to prove it? That was my experience today when I took a book back to the library. See, I got a call a few days ago stating that one of my library books was overdue by at least two weeks. I knew this couldn't be possible, as I had specifically taken all of the books back to the library at the same time and had a librarian physically re-check them. I DO remember thinking at the time that the librarian seemed very distracted and I wondered if she had really re-checked them all, but I had the girls with me, I was ready to go, etc...Now, I know that I don't exactly have a mind like a steel trap, BUT I KNOW with everything in me that I had that specific book in my possession that day, because I remember wanting to return it, when Kaelyn asked if she could take it home again.
I took the book back to the library today thinking surely they would understand that these occurred charges and the crazy idea that Stacy-is-a-bad-book-checker-and-we're-putting-it-on her-permanent-record were simply not due to any fault of my own. Hah! That would mean that the said library lady would have looked at me like she actually believed me, instead of like a criminal trying to make up a "dog ate my homework" story to get out of paying the PIDDLY $1.80 fine!!
I didn't care about my pocketbook, I just wanted her to believe me! "Are you sure that you didn't just leave the book at home that day?" she asked me in a rather sarcastic voice that implied that she didn't believe a word of what I had told her.
Now the Lord has been convicting me lately about kindness and about being Christlike in all social situations. So, what I said and I what I really wanted to say conflicted at this point. I chose to just let go. I truly didn't want to be unkind, so I said in a voice that I really hope was a lot less perturbed than I felt, "Yes, I am sure, but I will pay the fine. How much did you say it was again?"
This whole experience caused me to drift back to another experience where a look of disbelief DID cause me to say what was on my mind to a total stranger. My dear hubby and I had been married a little more than a year when the possibility arose (despite b/c) that we "might" be pregnant. Now, I didn't think this was the case, but you know how you always want to be sure.
{Keep in mind for this story - Most people tell me that I look younger than I actually am, but when I was married at age 20 there were many people who thought I was still a teen. }
I had never taken a pregnancy test before, so I didn't even really know exactly where I should start looking. I wandered around a Fry's grocery store for half an hour with no luck, and was absolutely too embarrassed to ask. I was on my way home when I decided to stop at a drug store for one last try. I did indeed find the pregnancy tests - under lock and key. A male teen worker had to bring the key to come and open everything up so he could stand there while I chose one. I'm sure I looked awkward, seeing as how I had no idea which one to pick. I grabbed one and quickly headed to the counter. It was there, as that clerk gave me the "once over"....I could see in her eyes that she thought that I was a teen sneaking in for a pregnancy test.For whatever reason, I felt something rise up in me, and in a flash of boldness, I said, "JUST SO YOU KNOW, I'M TWENTY YEARS OLD, I'M MARRIED AND I WAS A VIRGIN ON MY WEDDING NIGHT!" (still don't why I told her that about a Lot-O-Personal Info.)"Oh, well.." she stalled "You know, you just look so young..I just thought...."
I went home that night surprised at my sudden boldness - maybe I was tired, maybe a sudden rush of hormones overtook my brain (Hah! That still happens!) Whatever the case, I still remember that night as being one of the only times that I spoke to a stranger with such ZING...
Lord, fill me with kindness, even when librarians and store clerks don't believe me (and I have such an honest face!! :)


Crock Pot Mom said...

Bless you for sharing, and AMEN to that ~ I will now think about your graceful humility when tempted to retort...maybe God is working with you on the making thyself of no reputation as Christ as well...He has worked with me on that and it is tough but a blessing. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hey sis,
I just got the net set up at my new abode and I had a moment to read this blog post. It is hard to confront those who do not believe us or situations in which, better said, we are judged not by who we are, because who takes the time to get to know people these days, yet a diluted and quick to judgment mind (which we all have). Yet, so often just two minutes spent with a person tells me so much about them... just remember that some people cannot read other people. It took me a long time to learn this and sometimes I had to ask myself why people act the way they do... there is always a reason... not to say that their reasons justify their actions but they can explain them... This reminds me about how dissapointed I was that I did not learn more about criminal psychology in my Criminal Justice class...but getting back to the subject...
Long ago, I had to accept to derail situations as such, yet, probably unlike you, I was forced to because I had no freedom not even to speak my mind out loud, but inside I was angry about such behaviors, for who can erase the battles of one's soul? I say more in the inside than the outside because to those whom freedom limits them to speak on the outside, it does not limit them to feel and battle in the inside. This should prove for the blind that we have a soul, therefore, we have a God. This was often my case as a child growing up in a communist world. I was so angry at these types of behaviors, as the one you experienced, although obviously they happen everywhere, not to speak about when I saw such behaviors within the church… people judging each other in the church in a most disgusting and wrong way… that enraged me even more because it did not seem right at all. But anyway, I took it to the Man on the Cross, every single time, and although at that time I was clueless in seeing that what I was experiencing out of duty and respect and a desire to know Him was becoming a rapidly and vastly expanding relationship with God, for I did not know I was allowed to get so close to Him, He was taking care of the anger that was building up inside me and taught me how to live. So often in current situations when I have to face such confrontations as you had at the library, although in my case it is often a lot more than just a librarian, but my own family, I can only hear the words of Jesus: "Forgive them Father for they do not know what they do." I know I do not know how to and what to do when responding to offensive judgment but to ask Him. If it was up to me, my replies would hurt God and more it would degrade the original painting that God made of my life. I would never want either to happen. That is where I find my peace, in Him, and I hunger for His teachings because only He can help me be more like Him. That is my deepest desire and I am sure yours too. Yet, today, it is harder for me than it was, believe it or not, during those times when I was not a Christian but a simple believer in search, because I have more freedom in this country and with more freedom comes a greater war. It is amazing how much more suffering attaches us to God. It is easy for me to speak my mind in this country because I never had that opportunity much in my own. I was taught to shut up and just swallow and breathe deep. There were no other choices. Now I can speak because I am protected by the civil rights of the American Constitution yet I learn to be more careful, which is not always easy. Yet, because I am a Christian, God speaks straight to my heart and mind now, as I am living with Jesus by walking with Him and listening to the wisdom which He grants me, I never dreamed it before, while He allows me to peek into the painting of His life on earth, showing me examples of how I need to live my life. Yet, even I make mistakes and need to ask forgiveness when my mouth is too quick to use witty words to make people feel ashamed of their behavior. Jesus was very wise and when He turned over the tables of the tax collectors, I am sure He was angry, yet He stood for that which His father asked Him to, so, sometimes I feel like we need to stand up for what God wants us to not for what we want to but we should still do it with love ... although I am a baby in the scripture, here is one section that I wish to share with you because it is one of my favorite, in, 1 Peter 3:14-15 is says: "But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, YET WITH GENTLENESS AND REVERENCE and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than doing what is wrong." This talks about a lot, doesn't it? I just love what God has to say here, the verbs, first suffer, concluded by blessed in the same sentence. WOW! Awesome! I could write a whole book just on these verses. Advice such as: "do not not be troubled," followed by "sanctify... be ready" and then my favorite adjectives "gentleness and reverence" Isn't it wonderful? He even tells us how to do the things we do. It is mind-explosion but even more heart-melting! Sorry about the length... this is why I have avoided posting before...
... check my blog sometime... I will be updating it now that I have the tool to... :>)

Life is to be share ~ Carmen