Just a few nights ago, I went out to dinner with my husband. And as I’m sitting there, I suddenly have this deep desire to confess something to him. Ever been in that place where the words are coming out and, in your mind, you’re wondering what in the world is going on. What possessed you to even bring up such a thing?
So there I am, sitting in this really nice restaurant, enjoying an evening of peace, and I proceed to tell my husband how I was rude to one of the “receptionists” (not sure what her title was, to be honest) at the doctor’s office.
I even tell him, “I can make all kind of excuses. I didn’t want to be there. Was dreading it, in fact. Her greeting lacked any friendliness. Most likely due the fact that she was flustered at the moment. She made me wait, then proceeded to help the next person who walked in.” Ya-da, ya-da, ya-da…
But still, she didn’t deserve my attitude. That’s it, right there. My attitude.
Funny thing is, the situation at the doctor’s office reminded me of something, or I should say of someone else’s rudeness. And to think I had treated someone in that manner mortified me. I’d witnessed this in the past. How could I do it to someone else? (Isn’t it just like God to use stuff like that to point out our own flaws?)
I shared this with my husband. All of it. Why? I have no idea, but I did. Me, the Christian, mistreated a stranger. And I’m telling my unbelieving spouse all about it. What’s he going to think of my faith now? What’s he going to think of the Jesus I profess to follow?
Wait. It gets better. I go on to tell him how I prayed silently, asking God for an opportunity to apologize. (Yeah, I know. What was I thinking?) And I continued the share that, before I could even say “amen,” this young woman was standing in front of me. Right in front of me.
I continued my story to him, “I told her flat out, I was sorry. That she didn’t deserve my attitude. She said she understood the circumstances, but I told her I still shouldn’t have treated her that way.”
Had to be the Holy Spirit sitting at the dinner table that night. I finished my story, and looked at my husband. I saw pride in his eyes. He smiled and said, “I bet she really appreciated that.” But what gets me is the subtext. The pleasure I saw in his eyes. I screwed up, and he’s proud of me.
I still have no idea why I told him about what happened, but I do believe the Holy Spirit was at work. Amazingly, this is the kind of thing that’s happening more and more lately. Here I thought all along I had to be this perfect representation of what a Christian should be, but God’s bringing out all my flaws and pride and pruning them away. He doesn’t want perfection. He wants authenticity.
My husband wants to take me out for our 20th wedding anniversary next month. There’s no telling what might pass across the tablecloth next time.
Praying and believing,