“Grace always shocks. Grace always stuns. Grace is always what we need. It’s what everyone groping around lost in the dark has to know: turn toward grace and you turn on all the lights.” ~Ann Voskamp
She was waiting for me when I returned to my car. I could see right away she was furious.
“You are SO inconsiderate! You parked right in front of my mailbox! How dare you!“
My heart was pounding as I took a deep breath and considered my options. Perhaps a sarcastic comment about the wisdom of buying a house right across the street from a school? Or maybe I could just give her a dirty look, get in my car, and quickly drive away? How dare she lie in wait for me, then stand in the street screaming and shaking her finger at me?
However, since I had spent time in prayer earlier that morning, the Holy Spirit had followed me there and was whispering something else entirely.
She is hurting. Show her love. Show her grace.
A little disappointed to be robbed of my opportunity for a witty comeback or a dramatic stand, I decided to take the high road. I looked her in the eye and listened quietly until she ran out of words.
“I’m so sorry,” I said. “You are right. I shouldn’t have parked there. This must be so frustrating for you. I’m really very sorry.”
She paused and then, not knowing how to deal with my response, she turned on her heel and stomped back into her house.
As I got back in my car, I was still shaking with emotion. The intensity of her anger made me feel vulnerable, and I was still struggling with the desire to lash out at her in return. In the past, I would have felt justified in returning fire for fire, unloading on her in retaliation. On this occasion, proximity to the Spirit led me to choose differently.
I wish I could say I always choose grace.
Several years later, I had the opportunity to learn more about the woman I met that day when she signed up for a Bible study…
Read the rest of the story at The Glorious Table