The other day, after trying to talk both of us off the ledge of a particularly frustrating situation, my husband asked me, “why do you always see the bright side?” That’s when I had to confess that even though I just rattled off a bunch of “bright side” jargon, I actually woke up on the Dark Side that very morning. After a few decades, I have finally learned that when I am disturbed, short-tempered, or enraged at minor inconveniences, things that don’t go my way or say, heavy objects falling off the table directly on my big toe, it’s a pretty strong sign that there is something boiling inside me (and it’s probably been percolating for an unrecognized-while ).
What is even more disturbing, is how quickly my mood, my outlook on my circumstances can vacillate from one end of the continuum to the other. That morning, I was having a toddler-esque tantrum over some pretty lame stuff, which triggered me to go on a rant to God about how my life was a phat joke and nothing ever goes my way and why does everyone else seem to get what they want but I certainly never do!?!?!
I knew even as I was driving that I was setting myself up to feel stupid for my lack of perspective. You see, I was driving to a hearing for a young man who has been in jail–has not seen the literal light of day–for a year. The lesson I was about to be served hung out there, taunting me, but I still couldn’t manage to pull myself together. I just kept mouthing off, right up to the point where I put my two quarters into the parking meter for the guy parked behind me! Just one more bit of evidence that my life was indeed jinxed by God (thinking about this in hindsight is pretty comical, not to mention embarrassing).
And then God, who I frequently doubt and question about whether or not he gives a lick about my meager little life, showed up in lights. As I sat in that courtroom with 2 others, we silently begged God to do what was best for this young man, but let him know what we really wanted was freedom. We prayed that he fill this judge with mercy. And guess what? In spite of every single bit of evidence that made his lawyer’s request sound like a long shot (he had already told us as much) and completely impractical, absurd, unlikely and possibly even dangerous, she approved it. I can’t go into too much detail, but let’s just say that an hour later, he got his picture taken outside, with the brilliant fall sunshine beaming down on his pale skin.
I have never witnessed a miracle this directly. I felt like God did some sort of Jedi-Mind-Treatment on the courtroom that day. Ya know, like in Star Wars when the guards as Obi-Wan for Luke and his companions identification he says, “You don’t need to see their identification,” and the guards respond, “We don’t need to see their identification, move along!” That’s how the Jedi-Mind-Treatment works, and that’s how crazy it was that this dear boy walked out of that courtroom to a new type of freedom. Made no sense at all; God’s crazy like that.
And in the afterglow of experiencing this miracle, it only took me about 2 hours to swing back to the Dark Side over something of such little significance I won’t even bother to bring it up.
In all this, I guess my point is that, as I have mentioned before, we are all broken and jacked-up and human, and this is most likely going to happen again and again and again. I am not proud of how easily I lose perspective and how demanding and childish and ungrateful I can be. But maybe God understands us better than we think. He knows I love him madly, but occasionally behave badly. And He extends that same mercy to me that I witnessed Him extending through that Judge. And He extends it to you too.
“His mercies are new every morning…every day it’s true, He makes all his mercies new.”