Monday, April 2, 2012
Yesterday I got some pretty disheartening news about a friend of mine. Said news required, in my mind, that I make the hour drive from school to home. From the moment the phone rang I had begun to pray to God. It took me only minutes to get into my car and I prayed the entire time. With great effort, I futilely attempted to remember a helpful scripture from the Bible, or an encouraging message from a pulpit. All that came to me, however, was It is Well With My Soul. Having sung the song many times, the words poured out of me with ease. Yet, no matter how many times they had been sung to me, or in me, the words held their meaning for the very first time. The seemingly unfeasible idea of acceptance had become a cooling sensation in my chest, and fierce, bottled up tears had begun to stream down my face. I had no idea what the future held, but I could accept it in advance. My vision began to blur, and the whole outside world seem to fade. It was just me, my tears, my peace. The moment, though, was quickly interrupted. Despairing blue lights appeared in my back window and my heart erupted in my chest. Not thinking of road regulations, and just simply not thinking, I slammed on my breaks and pulled over to the left. My window was already rolled down, and I had been driving in my sort of silence. My face still covered in tears, was most obviously red with distress as the Highway Patrol man leapt from his vehicle and ran towards my window. With no time to spare, the tall, muscular, and terrifyingly young patrol man started to yell at the top of his lungs. Never in my life have I heard such socially unaccepted words used with such hatred, pure, unadulterated hatred. I had pulled over to the left, instead of to the right. This "jack-ass move" nearly "cost us both our lives!!" After repeatedly asking me how I could be so stupid, he let me know that all he wanted was for me to move in the other lane so he could "get to where he was going." At first glance, one might actually begin to think that such a spectacle was being displayed just for my benefit. I really do not think I am that special, or that evil. While he was still yelling, I realized he was angry, beyond that, he was furious, but it wasn't at me. Something, or someone, had gotten to this poor man before I did. No matter how I was feeling about my own life, I simply could not ignore this man's emotions. I had problems, he had problems. As I stared into his viscous eyes, it dawned on me that we were the same. Pain is met and dealt with in a multitude of different ways and fashions, how we deal with that pain correlates to how we treat and coexist with the others around us. We can relay one of two things: cruelty or kindness. Kindness is a solid stone used to fortify a structured, stable life. Cruelty is a sledge hammer that is highly powered, and has no chance of making improvement to anything. The Officer chose to configure his hurt into oppression. If he continues to turn pain into anger, his life could take many detrimental turns. Thanks to God, I have consciously decided not to do the same. You really never know what events are taking place in one life, be kind.