I'm sorry today's devo is late--I should maybe call this the Monday afternoon devo, huh?
In one of the devotionals I read, The Upper Room, the very last entry in the March-April issue, was a story about how a couple had stopped at a cafe to eat and received what they considered pretty lousy service--and not only that, the waitress had gotten the order mixed up. The lady who wrote it said they were going to complain to the manager when the young waitress came up to them and apologized, explaining that it was her first day back to work after having a baby, and she was having difficulty getting things done right.
It put a new perspective on how the couple viewed the situation. Now instead of feeling critical they felt sympathetic. They had quickly jumped from the angry side to the loving side.
It doesn't always happen that way. We see someone do something foolish in traffic, and sometimes we jump to some pretty angry conclusions without knowing the other person's frame of mind or perspective. It might change our reactions if we only knew.
One time in Phoenix, I was driving along after receiving some news that made me angry. The guy behind me kept almost nosing my back bumper. I said some pretty angry things, and then I hit the brake pedal a few times to express how I felt and maybe get him to back off. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have done that--but I was already angry, and I guess I was looking at someone to growl at.
He, on the other hand, probably thought I was a crazy woman. I'm glad he wasn't an equally angry type. Statistically, about half the people driving in Phoenix carry a gun in their cars. Every once in a while there (and in a lot of other cities) someone shoots another driver because they're angry.
There's always another side to the story. Always. And I wish I knew them. God does, He forgives, and He teaches us to follow His lead.
Lord, please help me to imagine what the other person's side of the story might be. May I be more merciful, more patient, and quick to give grace where needed. Like You do. Amen.