“I was rude to someone today.
We are on vacation out of state this week in North Carolina. I walked into our usual donut joint with my mask on. The owner walked up to me and started taking our order. In retrospect, I should have given more attention to her weary countenance.
I took one side of my mask off so I could continue my order without being muffled. Without hesitation, she said, “Sir, please put your mask on.”
My flesh convinced me that this was the time for me to be a patriot. I put the mask loop over my ear and told her that we wouldn’t be needing any donuts after all. She seemed to shrug my response off, so I continued. I didn’t yell. I didn’t make a scene. But I looked at her straight in the face and told her she was rude. We exchanged pleasantries, and I left.
2 miles down the road, the Holy Spirit smote my heart. I stood for my personal belief while ignoring humility and grace.
I turned the van around and drove back to the donut shop. I entered the shop, and the same woman was standing there. I walked right up to her, with my mask on, looked her in the eye and said,…
“I. Am. Sorry.”
With workers and other customers looking on, I asked for her forgiveness and told her I should have been more gracious and humble. She opened up to me for a few minutes about how tough the current situation was on her as a former nurse and current small business owner. She was tired. She was weary. She was worried.
She didn’t need a seasonal patriot. She needed a gracious Christian.
I purchased my donuts, we laughed, and I left. When I got back to the van, I explained to my children that it was important we set ourselves aside for the wellbeing of others. I made sure my kids knew that I was willing to eat crow so a tired stranger could have an emotionally healthy day. I explained to my children what I had done and how I needed to make it better. I explained to my children that God allows us to make mistakes so His grace can be on greater display.
We will back for more donuts this week. I’ll be wearing my mask the whole time, making sure I am a blessing and not a bully. And I didn’t have to give up a shred of freedom or dignity to do so.
This world needs humility, grace and forgiveness. It doesn’t need more casual Christians dying on their temporal hills. It needs more Jesus-followers living out the Gospel.
Yes, be a patriot. But don’t let your personal beliefs drown out your faith and witness.
All we are enduring will one day fade away, but the Word of the Lord will endure forever.”