I held the door for two little old ladies at a Denny's Restaurant tonight. But I really wanted to let it slam in their faces.
Sounds cruel, I know. I'm exaggerating, but really I was very upset. They were complaining to the waitress at the checkout about their undercooked fish, and then about the price of their meal. They kept on complaining until they got a manager to point out that the price they were charged was indeed correct. But she discounted them anyway. All the while, a little 5 or 6 year old girl was doing what little girls do... making some little girl noises behind them. One of the women turned around and told her to be quiet because they couldn't think! (Translation: Shut up kid, I'm trying to get my #@!& discount). "Where is her mother?" the other octogenarian asked. "You're not a very good little girl are you?" the other accused her.
Now. I just preached Sunday about turning the other cheek. Jesus said that if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the left also. If someone strikes you on the right, it's most likely that you've been backhanded... a particularly insulting strike. It means you've beeen offended. No, the women didn't insult me personally, but I felt very angry that they would treat the restaurant employees and a little girl in that manner. As I checked out, I gave the waitress an extra nice smile and thank you, and left the restaurant just ahead of the discount ladies. It didn't take long for the Holy Spirit to remind me to live above the norm. I held the two doors open for the ladies, they thanked me, I smiled through my anger and left.
No, I'm not exalting myself. Far from it... because my heart wasn't really in it. I found that I have a long way to go to show love to others. Deep down, I wanted to tell those ladies off. But I also know that vengeance belongs to the Lord, not me. If God gives them indigestion or food poisoning from their undercooked Tilapia (not that I'm suggesting He do that, you understand) then I defer to His wisdom and judgment.
We were reminded at Church Leadership Class today that there are Kingdom principles at work. Pastor Dave put a much finer point on the teaching that I've been repeating often lately in to my congregation: God's blessings are found in our obedience to Him. Today, I resolved to take it to a higher and deeper level.
I just didn't expect the first test to happen at Denny's.