The other day I had some errands to run so I made a list to maximize my time. Stops A and B on the way to school, pick up the boys, and then a quick stop C on the way home. Quick, efficient, and timely -- I could do this.
Stop A went off without a hitch, but Stop B was messing things up. Red lights, a closed lane, an accident. And if that wasn't enough, I was stuck behind an extremely slow driver who seemed to be heading in the same direction. Great, just great.
He drove 30 mph and kept tapping his brakes.
When he made a slow right turn exactly where I needed to turn, I groaned.
I was still stuck! Come on!
He went even slower as he tried to find what he was looking for, but finally he signaled and pulled into a parking space in front of the same store that was my Stop B.
In exasperation -- and to make a point -- I zoomed into the spot next to him, parked, and marched quickly into the store.
I was in there ten minutes, and when I came out the driver was just locking his car door.
I thought about this. I had parked, made my purchase, and was back in my car while the driver was just getting out of his. Sheesh. Talk about slow.
And just then I saw why, and it felt as if I had been sucker-punched.
The man had two artificial legs.
I watched him open the trunk of the car and pull out a walker. Slowly, laboriously, painfully he shuffled into that store.
Shame, humility, remorse ... I can't even narrow down what I felt to just one word. Needless to say, I never made it to Stop C. It just didn't seem important anymore.
In thinking back on that day I still have those feelings, but I am also overwhelmed with gratitude for a loving Father who wanted to teach me something in a way which was clear and succinct. No parables. No proverbs. No room for misinterpretation. Just a lesson that was gritty and very, very real.
A lesson which certainly hit home.