I am not known as a “bitter guy” but I was growing a root towards this woman at the shelter. She took every opportunity to take offense and pick a fight. Where she did not take offense she created it.
I found myself mimicking Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October “We must give the American a wide berth.”
In this case, this large Afro-American lesbian with a chip on her shoulder the size of Gibraltar.
No doubt it had been foisted upon her. And I had a suspicion that I – as the large “white man” was the embodiment of her hate.
So if I stepped anywhere near her she was on me like white on rice – whatever the hell that means (I really have no idea – it sounds vaguely racist – and you all know I am not vaguely anything so…).
And I am tiring of being the symbol of other white men’s sins – really. I understand it, but I do not have to like it or even accept it.
I is like the answer I gave when the Jedi and I were walking and the black dude rode up on his bike on Broadway and asked “How do you feel about black men?”
“Depends on the man,” I said just as fast as he asked.
With each incident where I was innocent with this woman, the root of bitterness grew to the point where Sunday night I started to wish she would just “go away.” She already had displaced my work area (the office area where I had computer access early in the morning. But I could hardly admit this bothered me because it was to hook-up her breathing machine – basically a medical necessity and how could I place my own needs over that!? No I could never admit that I had such an evil and selfish thought!
And frankly, had she been nice about it and not snapped at me at every opportunity I think I would not have thought about it. But she did, so I did. She was petty, so I started to think more and more that way.
The Bible describes it as a “root of bitterness” and it is apt. Ever deal with a nasty set of roots after they have tunneled down?
Well the next morning I went into the locker room and she was in there. “Oh boy…stay the hell away from her” was all I could think as I stared right into my locker all stiff like.
“Oh…help!” she suddenly gasped.
“I twirled around in an instant transformed and suddenly at her side. “What can I do. Tell me what is happening with you.” I said calmly.
She told me she was very short of breath. We worked together. She had me stuff her clothes that were on the floor into her bag, then gather up the change that had fallen on the floor onto it as well.
My eyes are not very good so at times she had to direct me. As I said, we worked together like we had done this before. Then I closed up her locker and told her to steady herself on my arm and slowly led her out of the room and to a chair.
Once safe, I asked her how she was. We talked a little then I got her some water and alerted the front desk. I had done this many times up in Portland at the Mission so I knew what I was doing.
I checked back with her in a little while and she thanked me.
It was then that I thanked Jesus because I knew that without His direct influence there is no way I make THAT transition from bitterness to service in a millisecond. No way in hell.
And that is why I love Him.
No one in this Universe loves like Him. No one. And the sole reason I love at all is because of that.