Tuesday, February 11, 2014

You're Cutting! No Fair!


James 1:22-24
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

In the ten years I've known my husband, Danny, he's been sick only twice.  The second time happens this past weekend.  Feeling woozy on Friday, Danny wakes Saturday morning to a fever of 101.  He decides right then and there to see a doctor, so off to Urgent Care he goes.  (Yes, I do offer to drive him, but Danny assures me he's clear-headed enough to take himself there.)

Danny arrives at Urgent Care at 8:30, thirty minutes before the doors are scheduled to open.  He is the first patient there.  Not long after, a pickup truck carrying a husband and wife cruises in and parks next to him.  What Danny doesn't see is the third vehicle pulling up on the other side of the truck which blocks his view.

Ah!  At long last!  Danny sees the receptionist approaching the glass doors.  She's unlocking them!  Relief is in sight!

As Danny and the couple in the truck open their doors, they can't believe their eyes.  A woman, the occupant of the third car, is making a mad dash for the entrance.  She wants to be first!  Danny and the couple exchange looks of surprise and disgruntled comments as they follow in her wake.

When they get inside the office, the receptionist waves to Danny to step up to her window and sign in.  Softly, she says, "You were here first, so the doctor will see you first."

Danny leans forward, gives an almost imperceptible nod in the direction of Miss Third Car, and asks discreetly, "Does this sort of thing happen a lot around here?  People cutting in line?"

"You wouldn't believe how often it happens," the receptionist confides, and, with a sly smile, adds, "little do these folks know I'm always watching for the order in which patients arrive.  It's what I do.  Cutting in line is simply not fair."

Danny sees the doctor, is given two prescriptions, and heads out the door with a friendly and grateful wave to the observant receptionist.  Walking toward his car, something on the woman-who-would-be-first's car catches his eye.  Curious, he strolls over to see what it could be.

"It was one of those car magnets," Danny tells me when he gets home.  "And, you won't believe what it pictured."

"What?  Tell me!"

Danny sighs.  His face reflects his sorrow.

"It was a manger scene."

~

We can attend church.  We can listen to the Word.  We can read the Word.  But, if we fail to do what it says, can we even begin to call ourselves Christians?  What if that couple in the pickup truck were not practicing Christians?  Do you think that if they, too, saw the manger scene on the woman's car, and recalled her selfish behavior, that they would move one step closer to salvation?

This woman's actions spoke louder than any words spoken, or any magnet she could place on her car.  Maybe, she cut in line because she was feeling so badly that morning.  Maybe, that's not typical of her behavior when all is well in her world.

We can only hope.

And, pray . . .

Prayer:  Help us to remember, Father, to not only listen to Your Word, but to do what it says, for faith without works is dead.  May we, by our example, be a shining light for Jesus in this hurting world, and may we ever place the needs of others before our own no matter what pain we might be enduring at the time.  Amen.


14 comments:

  1. we are always rushing...running low on patience. But the same person will complain when someone else will over take them.

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    Replies
    1. You are exactly right, Janaki. That's how it happens, sadly, many times.
      Thanks for coming by!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. Doesn't surprise me, Martha.
    I've seen this in action many times when attending church services. Sometimes those same people in church after professing their faith and friendship are the people who will cut you off getting to their cars or NOT letting you in line when leaving the parking lot.

    That kind of behavior is anathema to me. I JUST don't understand how one minute you can be practicing peace inside a spiritual building and the VERY next moment care only for yourself.
    --
    Chris

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    Replies
    1. Chris, I'm right there with you. It seems like many people put on the "Church Masks" when they enter the nave and take it right off as soon as they leave. For me, faith should be evident in our behaviors at all times. It's not always easy, but the more we grow in our relationship with God, we can no longer divorce our beliefs from our actions.
      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  3. Martha, it is sad how we treat one another. Makes me think she couldn't have been that sick if she was running to get in! Who knows though. Thankfully I don't have to judge everyone's thoughts and actions, but there will come a day where we give an account. I can choose for myself to live in love, compassion, and care. Good reminder! Thank you.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Jason!
      I, too, am so grateful that I'm NOT supposed to be the judge and can simply try to live and love with compassion. And, yes, it is so sad, sometimes, how we don't love our neighbor as ourselves. What a wonderful world that would be if we did!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  4. Actually that doesn't surprise me one bit!

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    Replies
    1. Several folks have expressed this very same sentiment, Kathy. It's a shame, though, isn't it?
      Thanks for coming by!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  5. Like the earlier commenters mentioned, I am least surprised but I will refrain from making any remarks as I don't want to judge. Maybe unknowingly I also would have done the same thing but yes, I do get the drift - We cannot be effective testimonies if we don't lead by example. We better watch out for our natural tendencies and rectify them.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    Replies
    1. Oh, yes, Susan, we need to reflect daily upon how our actions are affecting those around us. On my car, I have a decal which reads, "Forgiven by Jesus." I have to be SO careful when driving that I don't show anger toward someone who does something absolutely stupid in traffic. It's a struggle, but know it's there helps me to remember how I should act.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  6. It makes me think of my visit to the doctor last year, Martha. His office was full of people and I heard his receptionist answer a call and telling someone that the doctor couldn't see them that day. Then I laughed when I heard her say, "You're sick? So is everyone else here who has come to see the doctor!" Some people!

    I hope Danny is all well now.

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    1. What a funny story, Corinne! Thanks for sharing with me. Yes, Danny is much better, but I'm the one still struggling to shake this blasted illness. I've missed church three weeks straight! :( Hope I'll recover completely this week.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  7. In the hustle and hustle of our every day lives it is so easy to become wrapped up into our own selves and forget about the needs of others. Situations like this provide a wonderful opportunity for other people like the receptionist to do the right thing and set a positive example about what it is to live in light, love, and forgiveness.

    Derek @ U.S. HealthWorks Santa Ana (Tustin Ave)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Derek! It amazes me that you found this much older post and took the time to comment on it. I do try to answer all comments, but admit that I occasionally miss some.
      Love and blessings, and thanks for stopping by!

      Delete

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