Thursday, July 28, 2011

Curt, Convicted, Contrite


We’ve had one day in over two weeks when the heat index wasn’t above 100 degrees. Patience and tempers run short. People are testy. My DH had debilitating cluster headaches for three days. Wednesday it was 109, thanks to 98 on the thermometer, and the high dew point. Hubby went to bed at 8:30.


Not five minutes later, the phone rang. A woman asked for someone who doesn’t live in our home. We don’t have cells or caller ID (don’t ask), and we get a lot of unsolicited calls.


I admit I’ve never been a quick thinker (years ago a kid asked if my refrigerator was running and I went to look), so I didn’t even consider asking who she was or the last name of the individual she wanted. I was curt, and basically hung up.


The phone rang again and the same woman asked for the same person.


I said, “No one by that name has ever lived here.”


She verified our phone number, then offered, “You must get a lot of calls to be so irritated.”


“We do. And my husband just lay down with a horrid migraine.” I didn’t apologize.

She said, “The Lord be with you.”

I was convicted by her click. It sounded so final. It was too late to apologize or search for any more excuses.

Humble, regretful, guilty. That old sin nature can still raise its ugly head. My mind raced to the Lord.

Five minutes later, the phone rang again, but no one responded to my softer hello.

What if it was a test of some kind?

What if the caller really meant to call me to see how I’d handled the ruse?

What if someone was checking up on me to see if I’m equipped for ministry?

What if I missed the opportunity to entertain an angel?

I was once voted Miss Congeniality. If those girls could have heard such a tone of voice, that trophy would belong to another. And a short tone like the one I used would never fly in the workforce.

Contrition ran so deep I couldn’t sleep. There is no excuse for irritability. A Christian has no reason to be rude. And Christians are meant to be in the Word on a daily basis. Oops. It was our anniversary and we’d planned a day away from home, I hadn’t made the time to absorb God’s precious words.

Early this morning, in the wee hours of dark, I turned to Ephesians, Chapter 4. Words are meant to be edifying. I’m reminded to walk (and talk!) in a worthy manner, with humility, gentleness, grace. Forgiveness is a must, because I’ve been forgiven. I’m convinced a kind and loving tone turn curtness into congeniality.

Have you been tested lately?

14 comments:

Melissa Marsh said...

But that is the beauty of grace! We WILL stumble - perfection is not attainable. So forgive yourself. You make mistakes. The Lord knows this and has forgiven you for it. :-)

Delia Latham said...

LoRee, I loved this post. I felt like I was staring into a mirror. The unrelenting heat has taken its toll on most of us - you are certainly not alone. And I think we're all made a bit short-tempered. But you saw your error, and knew exactly where (to Whom) to turn. Who knows? Perhaps that lady will stumble across this blog... :)
I suggest we pray for each other through this and every other trial of life. I also suggest you try not to be so hard on yourself. Sometimes God allows these things to happen to wake us up or change our focus. With His mission accomplished, we can then move on to bigger and better (and hopefully COOLER!) things! Blessings, my friend!

Dora Hiers said...

Amen, Melissa! Isn't it amazing how God works? Bet you felt better after your time in the Word, didn't you, LoRee? Thanks for sharing.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Oh yeah, tested....I know how that works but doesn't it seem like once you're in a bad or irritable mood, no matter how convicted, you just can't seem to shake it?

Hate it when that happens!

Great post.
PamT

LoRee Peery said...

Melissa, you nailed it. It's all about grace.
Delia, you're sweating? Oops. We glisten.
Dora, gotta love the Living Word. The Lord wanted me to read Ephesians before I could sleep. He eased my mind.
I thank God for the friends He's brought my way through writing. Bless you.

Marianne Evans said...

LoRee, you're a beautiful rose. Melissa's right - we all stumble and we are ALL very, very FAR from perfect...I love the point commenters have made about forgiveness. God forgives us, you need to forgive yourself, and though you felt humbled, be uplifted by the fact that you recognize, sincerely apologize, and grow from there. God bless, and keep shining his light. You're wonderful. :-)

Lorilyn said...

Ouch, that hits me right between the eyeballs. I definitely need to let this soak in. Thanks for sharing.

LoRee Peery said...

Pamela, it's hard to look at ourselves the way the Lord does, as Saints dressed in white.
Marianne, your light shines as well.
Lorilyn, I've lifted you up. He always meets us where we are.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, ladies.

Amanda Stephan said...

What a wonderful and gentle reminder that we often stumble and should seek forgiveness. Thank you for sharing this post, I needed it and will continue to need it ~ especially when driving! Cheers to you :)

Liz Voss said...

What precious, timely words! I'm home reading this now instead of attending a family event because my 11 year old son lost his temper in a major way this afternoon and needed a cooling off period. Your gracious words and the conviction of Ephesians 4 were exactly what I needed to control my own temper over the situation and guide his tender heart back to the Lord as we learn together how to edify and encourage. Thank you so much for taking time to pen this message!

LoRee Peery said...

Amanda, I appreciate your message. Hmm, driving and making a comment? LOL
Liz, I feel blessed that our Lord helped me put together words for you to use, to His glory always. Thanks back.

Carla Rossi said...

Very nice post, LoRee. All I can say right now is Amen! Thanks.

LoRee Peery said...

Amen says a lot, Carla. Puts it right back with the Lord. Thanks.

Robin Bayne said...

Great post! I'm sure all of us can relate to that, and I put some of the blame on telemarketers who give us cause to be irritable about calls. Thank Heavens for Grace : )