One hot summer day, while strolling through the parking lot of a retail establishment, a nice Baptist lady saw what looked from a distance as though a twelve-inch gash had been added to her car's bumper. Naturally, her first thought was that someone had backed into the car, then am-scrayed without waiting to say how sorry they were.
Chagrin quickly turned to alarm, and then to anger.
But the closer she got, the more the mysterious crease began to look like something else. She removed her sunglasses. Nothing had hit her car! Nothing, that is, except two feathers. Stretched out end-to-end, still connected at the quills, they were dark brown -- which is why from forty paces the straight line they formed had looked like a crack in the bumper.
It was nothing to worry about.
Occasionally situations "hit" us that feel like bricks, when in reality they present no more danger than being pelted with feathers. Often we feel just as hurt by the feather strike as if someone had lobbed a brick at our head.
Usually pride is involved. Ours, that is. It is those times when we must step back and scan a mental checklist of priorities.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. (Romans 12:10)
What is really important? That we are vindicated, recognized as having been right all along? That those who have "misunderstood" us realize their error and beg our forgiveness?
What is important is that both our actions and the motives behind them are consistent with the truth God has revealed to us.
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (Colossians 3:13)
To the extent our priorities upset someone with a different set of priorities, their judgment (which may feel like a ruthless, unforgiving brick) must be gauged from that standpoint. Then we will see that what had at first been assessed as serious damage from the blow was really an optical illusion.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
It was the imprint of a couple of feathers that, once released upon the wind, can serve as wings to carry the phantom pain aloft. God takes over from there.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalm 119:165)______________________________________________________________________________
All Scripture quoted and referenced in this article is from the King James Version.
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