Recently, I met someone and the first thing I thought was: Wow, she doesn’t like me and we just met. My impression: She was unhappy. uptight. and extremely un-smiley. Terse is a good word.
I just did my best in that introductory situation – and let it go. Fast forward a month and a friend of mine had an encounter with the same girl. In her case though, the interaction was even more unhappy, more uptight and more un-smiley. It perplexed my friend tremendously.
She wondered out loud: Why is she so unhappy and controlling?
And I guessed: I bet deep down, she’s afraid and insecure.
Well, very soon after that, a truth was uncovered. The terse girl lost her mom unexpectedly when she was very young. When I heard that, I felt immense compassion. Of course, she’s controlling – she’s afraid. Likely waiting for the next foot to fall. Of course, she’s unhappy – she’s angry. Maybe at her mom. Or maybe even at God.
I understand her because I went through something traumatic when I was young. And it took me years to recover. Years to learn to trust again. I was tense, controlling and fearful.
Like a nimbus cloud – full of dark precipitation – I was crying on the inside.
The truth is that hurting people hurt people. Quite often, unintentionally. But past pain can inflict all sorts of weirdness on present day living.
When you bump up against someone that’s rude … try not to take it personally. (And expect to get a little wet.) Instead, take it prayerfully … to the One that wants to take it personally.