It’s the weekend, which means that you, like me, may be out and about in a crowd of people. Today I took our two kids as well as our friends son and daughter to the children’s museum about 45 minutes from our house. It’s my daughter’s favorite place on earth and she begs to go there over breakfast nearly every morning.
There is certain worker at this museum who always wears a lemon pucker face and talks to children in such a crabby tone it causes this mom to wonder why on earth she choose to work there. She’s yelled at me for drinking coffee, yelled at my daughter for having 2 too many apples in her pretend grocery story cart and today I saw her scowling as she hung up the little dress up doctor’s coats.
She is a crabby crabby muffin when she’s at work, that much is for sure. I must confess that a lot of times I refer to her as “that pissy lady who works at the museum” but today on the way home I began to wonder about her.
Why would you work at a children’s museum when you seem to have a serious disdain for playing children?
Well, maybe she can’t have kids of her own and she thought this would help fill that void, but it didn’t? On the flip side, maybe she has too many kids of her own and she’s swimming in them at work and about to blow a gasket? Or, maybe she’s just been wounded one too many times in life and it wouldn’t matter what she did for work, she’d hate it.
We all run into crabby ladies and gents and our knee jerk reaction is to write them off as terrible people, a-holes, d-bags or what have you.
I had coffee with a friend this week and we chatted about offenses and wounds, she helped me come to the realization that when someone snaps at you, it’s usually because they were hurting long before they took the time to take it out on you.
Then she took it a step farther and said that when a friend lashes out, not only should you see them as a hurting soul but you should be flattered that they consider your friendship secure enough to weather their unkindness.
It’s a total Jesusy “turn the other cheek” kind of move, and I love it. Not that I’m saying it’s easy, but if more of us starting living along these lines our world would be sprinkled with a lot more grace.
So, today, tomorrow or whenever you head out into the general public and among the throngs of people keep in mind that each one of those people is a person.
They have crappy days, wounds, and pet peeves just like you. They might cut you off because they have a screaming kid in the car who just threw up on themselves. Or they might glare at you because you remind them of an insecurity they’re not fully aware of yet.
But all those people you’re moving amongst, they’re persons even if they’re not acting like it. The more we meet their venom with love, the greater the likelihood that God’s love can penetrate their crab shell.
Have you ever met a stranger’s crabby with love and been blown away by what happened?
How do you usually respond to crab-apples out and about?