“You’re crazy, woman!” The unnamed man in the driver seat howled at me. His one hand held the steering wheel and his other spun circles ’round his right ear. Those nasty words hung in mid-air like the bullets in a slow-motion Matrix scene. You know, the ones where the camera deliberately trails all twenty-thousand bullets fired at Neo as he dodges each one successively? Only, I’m not Neo. And this one bullet struck hard against my ego…
We had nearly finished another early morning errand run – the doctor’s office for immunizations, an orthodontist appointment to remove the braces, a last-minute decision to pick up pet food, and now? A detour to pick up some pretty mums from the road-side flower guy. The leaves had changed colors since we were last in town. It was time to spruce up the house with some seasonal flora.
I plopped a potted mum the size of one of an over-inflated exercise ball into the back end of my Odyssey only to turn around to see my 6-yr old lift a second mum eye-level. Now effectively blind, he trailed me across the parking lot just.as.a.car.crossed.between.us.
“Stop!” couldn’t possibly describe the volume and pitch of my shrieking voice. And the glare this Momma Bear gave the driver of the crossing car could have shriveled the whole lot of magnificent mums.
“Are you kidding me??!” I yelled.
“What’s your problem, lady?” he yelled back.
“MY problem? I just stopped you from hitting my child.”
“You’re crazy! I was only going 10 miles an hour.” he retorted and got out of the car (!!) He got out of the car!
Without warning, the drumming in my chest and the ringing in my ears rivaled the worst high school band on any given Friday night. How could I flip into such rage on a dime? Who was I?
Maybe I ought to have fled the scene, or picked up my child, or just plain apologized to this man for the nasty look I shot his way. But no, this Momma extended her claws, barred her teeth, and let loose. Towering at an impressive 5ft 1in, I must have made quite a scene, because that’s when his right hand flipped into orbit about his ear and his death-eating words assaulted my soul: “You’re crazy, woman! C-r-a-z-y!”
As that man drove away, many other not-so-nice thoughts assaulted his rear-view window:
You’re right! I am crazy! Crazy in love with my children. Crazy ready to defend them against the likes of you! Wouldn’t it have been crazier still if I had just stood there and let you drive over my child? Wouldn’t that be the definition of a truly crazy Momma?!
But all my justification doesn’t change the fact that I chose to climb my soapbox, declare my superior position, and sin. And now I’m embarrassed. And there’s no real soap-box to stand upon save the one labeled, “Sinner in Need of a Savior.”
My grip upon the Savior was weakened by the shards of one man’s ego-shattering taunts. Am I crazy? Why does my blood boil and my heart race when someone I don’t even know belittles me? Is my ego so fragile that I’ll crack at the slightest slap? Or am I more mad that my children witnessed the entire ugly scene and now question their Momma’s character and witness for Christ?
Who am I?
…Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down…we never find out the strength of evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it… – CS Lewis
The hard truth? I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I am a Christian Momma fighting hard against the German army, staggering awkwardly through the whipping wind, and discovering the strength of the the evil impulse inside me.
But there’s still Good News. I am also forgiven and free. I am not my sin. I am my Savior’s.
While my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, while I was a brute beast before the world, He was with me. In that parking lot, I had no desire to hold on tightly to the cross, but the cross held tightly onto me. I may have lost my grip, but He held me by my right hand. I readied myself for battle, but He guided me with wise counsel. I failed to represent Him to a sin-filled world, but He still presented Himself to me. Un-offended by my offensiveness. Unshaken by my sin. Unwilling to let me go.
He never lets us go.
And there, my friends is the Good News, the Gospel, the battlement against the German army, the shelter from the storm. He never lets us go.
Photo Credits and and even more glorious word art [HERE]
Might I Pray for Us?
My strength and my shield. The only one who truly knows the reality of temptation, because you are the only one who resisted unto the point of death. Your compassion for me overwhelms my souls. While I am yet a ruthless, ugly sinner, you hold out your hand and say, “Come. Let me hold you a while longer.” Will I never overcome this world? Until the day you take me home into glory, stay by my side. Hold me by my right hand. Guide me with your counsel. Help us fight the evil impulses inside. Amen.