It Was Ugly


Most of us have buttons that set off some response (rage, withdrawal, control etc.) that signals a deeper issue of brokenness.

I’m sitting at Gate B-42 waiting, as usual, for a United flight that’s been delayed four times since its scheduled time of departure over two hours ago. I’m among a crowd that is slowly morphing into a mob.

The businessman seated one “Friendly-Skies” blue vinyl seat over, gets up and, for the third time, approaches the Customer Service rep at the gate counter. And with three well enunciated words, he uncorks vicariously venting for all 150 of us. Less than 10 seconds into his diatribe, he crossed the line as our warrior-poet-representative and became a caricature/cartoon of an enraged, foul-mouthed borderline-abusive man venting all the anger/wounds/disappointment he has experienced over the entire 42 years of his miserable life.

It was ugly.

Satisfied and no doubt exhausted from the adrenaline rush, he returns to his chair and glazed over, though still muttering obscenities, he slouches back.

Two minutes later, having caught his breath, he makes a call on his Blackberry. I easily overhear him talking to his young daughter tenderly over the phone. He’s calm, loving, engaged and thrilled to hear about her day as he expresses his love for her.

It was sweet.

I’ve seen this behavior before…in others.

Then I slouched down into my chair and realize that there’s a voice—a clear, kind voice saying, “Did YOU see that… did you see THAT?”

There are times when events unfold before you that, upon reflection, seem orchestrated by our sovereign God specifically for you. For a reason… as an invitation.

Ahhh yeah… I've seen that in myself (less dramatic and public of course!)

It was like there were two different people in one body. Truth is, it may have been two different people in one body. Most of us have buttons that, if pushed, set off some response (rage, withdrawal, control etc.) that signals a deeper issue of brokenness, woundedness… a young, unfathered heart/place and a foolish/sinful strategy of living. That “signal” isn't something to repress/deny or shy away from.

It’s actually the opportunity to experience the deep and true healing/forgiveness/deliverance/grace our good God offers.

I spent my flight wondering about my need of God and his promises to me.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
 He leads me beside quiet waters,
 He restores my soul (Psalm 23;1-3).

He heals the broken-hearted
, and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
 save me and I will be saved,
 For you are the one I praise (Jeremiah 17:14).

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