Because of Yahweh’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
One of my biggest pet peeves was being stuck in the “Tags Only” toll lane and behind the driver who only realized he has no tags when the gates didn’t lift (a lot has changed since I first wrote this article, including the removal of toll booths at most of New York’s bridges and tunnels).
This usually happened on my drive to church and by the time the forgetful driver moved, I would need to consider repentance, because I would get so upset. Usually this caused a delay of about 10 minutes which actually felt like 30. I would resort to name calling, and just a general rant to my passengers about how people are so absentminded that they miss the enormous signs that say “Cash Only or “Tags only”? I would secretly be willing the police officer to give the offending motorist a ticket so expensive that the driver would never again make that mistake. This happened once or twice per month for about six months. I was given ample opportunity to behave differently but failed the test every single time.
Then, one Sabbath morning, I was that “absentminded, unable to read”, driver in the wrong lane! Our Father shut me up for good on the day I forgot my E-Z Pass. I drove into the lane with all the confidence in the world, sailing off the Whitestone Bridge, scouting out lanes beforehand just to make sure I didn’t get stuck again, switching at the last moment to avoid the slow guys who bothered to wait for the gate to lift. I stopped, expecting the gate to be given a quick green light, but when there was no movement the realization hit me. I let out an embarrassing scream, remembering that I had not returned my tag to the car after taking it out the week before.
I was mortified. All of my rants of recent past came back to smack me in the face. At the same time I was praying that the ticket I wished on others was not that enormous after all. The police officer walking toward me in the usually irritatingly, slow swagger was suddenly moving too fast. Then he asked me the question, I would normally ask from my car of other drivers in my place: “Where is your e-z pass?” nary a smile from the man in blue, while I was forcing a smile so hard my face hurt. All I could say was, “I am sooooo sorry sir, I forgot it, I switched handbags this morning…” He looked at me with bored eyes and after a few beats, he said two words “eight dollars”. No ticket, no reprimand (except for the “I have heard this a thousand times before” look on his face). I paid, thanked him, and drove off quickly.
As this all played out, I realized that I should have shown more compassion. I became more aware of my response to the ‘transgressions’ of others, remembering that we all make mistakes and deserve mercy and compassion, not just from Yahweh but from each other.
Our Father sometimes put us in situations that will allow us to experience what we dish out to others; but even in His rebuke, His love is present. He does not allow us to face the full consequences of our mess ups, but shows us compassion. Therefore, rather than judgment and retaliation, let us show mercy and compassion to each other.
Prayer/Journal: Father I thank you that your compassion does not fail and that I can depend on your mercy and forgiveness when I repent for my mistakes. Help us to be more compassionate to those we deem deserving of punishment and may your love be extended through us, to all.
Today, my response to His mercy is gratitude and a commitment to change.
Like, Share, Comment and Subscribe.
Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com