By B.J. Funk –

Before leaving for a lengthy trip, I drove into the crowded gas station. All of the pumps were filled, so I pulled my car to be second in line. Our cars were facing, head-to-head, because my fuel tank was on the opposite side from hers. No problem. I’ll just wait a bit.

A bit turned into several minutes, and I watched as the young woman continued looking down at her lap. She never looked up.

She’s probably waiting for the one in the passenger seat to return from paying, I thought. 

Or maybe she’s counting her change and will get out and go pay soon.

Neither. She continued looking down, and now I had waited a good five minutes. I decided to get out and go knock on her window.

“Hi. I’m wondering if you are finished getting gas if you could pull out so I could pull in,” I said.  A smile adorned my face.

She looked up, mirroring my smiling face with her unhappy face. Uh oh.

“I will move as soon as I finish texting,” she said flippantly. “Besides, there are plenty of other gas pumps. Go to one of those.”

I believe she inherited that disgusted look from Adam when he looked at Eve and said, “See what you’ve done! See the price we now have to pay because you took that one piece of fruit?” 

The fact that I needed gas seemed somehow my fault!

The other pumps were still full. I walked back to my car, and I have to be honest. I was not thinking sweet cookies, yummy ice cream,  and peppermint candy thoughts about her. I was thinking frogs, snakes, alligators, bears, lions, and wolf thoughts. And, it would have been just fine with me if any of those animals had shown up right about now. In her car.

Questions popped in my mind. Should I go ask the store clerk to tell her to move? Should I start honking my horn? Should I…

At that time, grace began to stir inside. Oh no! I really wanted to handle this one without grace. 

But grace said, “Pray for her. Think of what she may be going through personally. Understand that her life might be difficult, and she is barely holding on to the little confidence she has left. Perhaps she just had a fight with her husband. Maybe finances are low. Bottom line … she is too overwhelmed with life right now to be nice. Too burdened to be thoughtful.”

I wanted to disagree. “I’ve had a few hurtful things happen myself, Grace. You never saw me acting like that, have you?”

“As a matter of fact, I have.”

Humble Pie had never tasted so salty.

Grace said, “I’ve seen you be pretty selfish, B.J., especially when things didn’t turn out like you wanted. I’ve seen your ego swell when what I wanted to swell was Me in your life. I’ve actually heard your heart thinking thoughts similar to what this young woman is thinking.”

Once again, grace won. I started praying for my twin in the car ahead of me.

Grace, grace, marvelous grace. Thank you for once again coming through to teach me a lesson. Eventually, she pulled out, never acknowledging me. But, if grace is right … and she always is … she had too much on her heart to be nice.

I should know. Twins always think alike.  

BJ. Funk is Good News’ long-time devotional columnist and author of It’s A Good Day for Grace, available on Amazon.

1 Comment

  1. Great thought-provoking insights! Seems to prove that being an instrument of God’s grace may not mean to be the featured soloist!

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