Earlier this week I was getting in the drive thru line at Chick-Fil-A. There was another car pulled over to the side of the drive thru, but not actually in the drive thru line. So I went ahead and got in line with my car. When I did so, that car that was pulled over to the side started honking at me and drove up right behind me in the line in an angry manner. I could see the woman who was driving that car yelling at me through my rear view mirror. At that point I figured that she assumed that I cut her off to get in line, but I was trying to explain it through my rear view mirror as best as I could that I didn’t realize she was in line. But she continued to angrily wave her hands around and proceed to mouth things at me that didn’t seem very nice.
So I then motioned for her to go around me and get in front of me, but she rolled her eyes and just motioned for me to stay there. I’ll be honest my blood was boiling. I felt that her anger towards me was completely unjustified…and when I gave her the opportunity to get in front of me because it seemed so important to her to be there before me, she declined to do so. So in my mind I was thinking “Did you really have to make that big of a deal about a drive through line at Chick- Fil-A?”
But almost immediately, I felt a prompting to pay for her meal. Uggh! That was not what I wanted to do. I didn’t do anything to make her mad….she’s the one with anger issues, I thought. But I decided I needed to obey the prompting and when I got up to pay, I told the cashier that I’d like to pay for the lady behind me. I did so and drove away. I don’t know what her thoughts were to my gesture. To be completely honest I was hoping it would make her feel bad for yelling at me. I want to be clear that I really did not want to pay for her meal….but I really felt that God was asking me to do so. So I did it only out of obedience to Him, not because my heart really wanted to do so.
As I drove away that day, I felt God gently remind me of the verse in Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” I had a choice in this situation to continue waving my hands at her and stay angry, or to do something to diffuse the already tense situation. The truth is I know that this woman’s anger at me had nothing to do with her getting her chicken sandwich before me. I have no idea what she is walking through in life….maybe a difficult marriage, maybe a bad diagnosis, or maybe a loss of a loved one. Once I was able to calm down, I found the strength to pray for her….and asked the Lord to bless her.
I don’t know who the difficult or angry people are in your life…your boss, your coworker, your spouse, or even a stranger on the road who cuts you off. But I want to encourage you to not respond in anger, but to let God’s love flow through you towards that person and then God can begin to do a work in their life and in yours. ~ Vijoy