Thursday was Big A's birthday. All in all, it was a good day, but that day, I did something I was not proud of. In fact, I've never done anything like it in my life. A little background: It had been a rough week. The life of a social worker is full of stress and emotion related to situations that aren't your fault, but that its your job to fix. I had just gone to court to have three children removed from their mother's home. It was a gut-wrenching decision, a year in the making. Other clients had come in throughout the week, and I was at my wit's end with their feelings of entitlement...fix this for them, pay for that, arrange that...I was just wore out.
So, Thursday came and we had some time to kill before dinner and the girls and I decided to hop into Target for a little bit. There I sat, waiting for someone to leave, for a good two minutes. I had my blinker on, politely waiting. Well, no sooner had that person backed out, another car came flying from all the way down the aisle, and because of their position, swooped in my spot. At that point, I did what any self-respecting Christian woman would do. I blocked her in. Sigh...I know, I'm not proud of that. I just wanted to tell her that I thought she was rude and I had three kids to shuffle in and would have appreciated MY spot that I had waited for. So I sat there, behind her car....for a while. And she refused to get out of her van. Can I blame her? No...I probably looked insane. When I finally pulled up into a different spot, she RAN to the nearest Kohls.
I felt horrible for acting like such a jerk, even though no words were ever exchanged. Even though I was SO SICK of entitled-acting, "gimme gimme gimme" people, I have no excuse for MY behavior. I know better than this.
So Sunday came around and the girls and I went to church. Fittingly, the sermon was about Grace...receiving, and more importantly, giving. Ugh. If I didnt already think I was scum, I sure did at that point! My pastor is phenomenal and somehow, every single week seems directed right at me. The lessons, the passages, all relevant to whats going on in my own life.
Then today I had a training with Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries. His mission was to create an organization that supported gang members in their quest to better their lives. His group provides education, jobs, tatoo removal, counseling...you name it. He has reached thousands of men, women, and children who were once considered "worthless." His lesson today followed Pastor's lesson on Grace so appropriately it was as if they planned it! He shared some amazing stories of survival and growth, and some that were so heartbrakingly tragic I wanted to cry. His point was that all these people....all humans...we belong to one another. No one of us is any more important than the other, and before we judge, remember that we have no idea what these people have been through unless we'd been there ourselves. Fr. Boyle did a much better job at this than I, but it just followed so fittingly from yesterday's sermon that it hit home particularly hard.
So, lesson learned...my temper will never get the best of me as it did in that parking lot again. Instead of being angry and frustrated with others, I need to focus more on prayer. Not that Jesus ever drove a minivan, but if he did, would he have parked behind that woman specifically to tell her how wrong she was?
Mmmm, probably not.