Since yesterday was Valentine’s Day, I decided to take my own advice and show a little extra love to my girlfriends – my dearly beloved palentines.
After all, Valentines are nice, but palentines are spice!
So I hopped in my car, which was filled with floating pink helium balloon hearts hand labeled “Palentine,” to make quick but secret deliveries to my Bible study heart sisters (we’ve had a fantabulous neighborhood Bible study going for about six years now).
On a rather tight schedule (who isn’t?), I pulled into the driveway of the second house, streaked up to the door, left the balloon, which was anchored by a scented candle and bit of candy (I mean really, what says “You’re special” better than chocolate?), and rushed back to my car.
Just as I opened the door, a UPS truck pulled up right behind me, blocking the driveway and stymieing my exit.
I waited (somewhat impatiently) for the driver to locate the package and as his rather large body filled the truck doorway, I said, “Do you mind pulling forward? I’m trying to leave.”
Ignoring my request, he took his time writing something down, then exited the still running truck and casually sauntered up the driveway toward me.
Of course, by the time he reached me, my mounting blood pressure was beginning to melt my earrings.
“I have a package for you,” he said, shoving the box toward me, not in a friendly sort of way.
“It’s not for me; I don’t live here,” I replied.
“Oh,” he said, “Then what are you doing here?” I was a little floored by his bluntness but resisted the temptation to reply in kind, “It’s none of your business.”
“Just making a delivery,” says I, climbing into the drivers seat while clearing a hole to sit among all the bobbing heart balloons and cranking my car to indicate my hurry.
He glanced back at his truck, apprising the situation. He could have easily hopped back in and pulled forward a few feet to let me out. But no, with a malicious gleam in his eye (or could it have just been the sun?), he turned and continued up the driveway, muttering, “So am I.”
So there I sat with no other choice, waiting. And gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles. And fuming.
I was so angry, I knew I needed to BARF. So I did. (An anger management tool I’ve used for years.)
B: Back off
B: I was stuck in the car, so the only way I could put a little distance between me and the situation was to turn on my local Christian radio station. Yep, listening to Toby Mac sing “It ain’t over yet!” did help me cool off a little and begin to gain new perspective.
A: Admitting I was miffed at this stranger’s insensitivity and selfishness was easy.
R: Redirecting my anger toward the real culprit of all wickedness – Satan – was harder. I couldn’t shake my mental image of the devil wearing a brown uniform and hat.
F: I was just starting to work on the forgiveness part when the UPS guy headed back down the driveway toward his truck. As he passed my car window, he threw a nasty little smirk my way, as if to proclaim himself winner of our little standoff.
Humph. Maybe he was. I know I wasn’t.
I hate to admit it, but I’m still annoyed at this man I’ll never see again, a whole day later. I’m stalled in the forgiveness stage and wondering why, on a day supposedly overflowing with love and goodwill, I ended up stewing in all the wrong juices.
Okay, BBFFs (Blessed Blog Friends Forever) – I need your advice. What would you do? What would Jesus do?
Patricia Sneddon says
I can feel your aggravation! The Lord has put me (or allowed me anyway) to be in situations like this often. I love the “R” in your acronym– redirect. I have begun to pray for the salvation of folks like that delivery driver, pray for his safety, his family,etc.
And, lately, I’ve thought to be mindful of how I’ve held folks up, how I’ve been a burden instead of a blessing and to ask forgiveness for myself.
Now, I’m praying for the boldness to maybe take it all a step further and maybe give out a Gospel tract in these situations.. Thank you for your honesty in sharing xx Bless you.
Yep, it’s that “step further” that we all need to push ourselves to take, Patricia. So much easier to sit and sizzle in silence. Thanks so much for your comment!
Jean Smith says
The gospel singing family, The Isaacs, have a new song: I don’t know the exact words, but something like this – I don’t have room in my pockets for stones to throw. Maybe a correlation would be: I don’t have room on my face to throw a smirk, sorry the UPS guy does have room on his face for a smirk.
I like that, Jean – I don’t have room on my face for a smirk! Hopefully it’s crowded out by the smile wrinkles.
Karen C. Prough says
I’m sorry … I had to smile, when I finished reading your BARF. 🙂 Perhaps, you could have waited by his vehicle and handed him one of your books–told him it was for his girlfriend or wife. Ha. Sounds like the man wanted to irritate someone–anyone!
Thanks for your response, Karen – maybe we can BARF together sometime! You might be surprised how many people are NOT interested in me handing them one of my books. Because of mixed responses when I’ve attempted to do just that, I’m now very cautious about who I mention my books to. I don’t know if people are intimidated, or feel like you’re dumping some unwanted “religious” literature on them … or what, but some people not only stiffen up at the offer, but flat refuse to take them and act a little miffed about it.
What a great story! I have had situations like this as well. Isn’t it funny to look back on later? Funny, until we look at our hearts and see the unforgiving feelings we know God sees. I have to lay them at the feet of my forgiving Savior (sometimes it may take me a few tries!!) and realize that these moments are in His hands as well.
So true, Heather. Sometimes it definitely does take me a few tries too! Thanks so much for your comment.
Little Louie says
Nice reminder to BARF more frequently. ?
You said it, LL! Love you!!!
I find that when I can’t figure out how a person can be so insensitive or even rude …..it shows me the difference (many times) between having Jesus and NOT having Jesus. There can be a huge difference. I marvel at the difference sometimes….hoping I never show insensitivity because I represent the difference. There are times I fail……. Loved the honesty in your story.
You make a great point, Vicki – let’s hope the difference will always be marvel-ous to others observing our own lives!
Bette J. Lafferty says
Knowing Jesus is in control helps me when things don’t go my way. I stand in agreement with Karen. Next time hand the person the love of Jesus found in one of your books or whatever you use to share Christ with others.
Jesus forgives you, and hopes you get the point of His story. Wait and see Him in each situation. love you much for your commitment to share Jesus.
Hugs to my sweet Bette! Thanks so much for your comment.