The light had turned green.
It was green. Bright green, in fact. On a structure specifically designed to be easily noticed by drivers. And the car in front of me remained stationary.
Just enough time had passed for me to notice the culprit: the driver in front of me was a little too dedicated to finishing their text to notice the light. Was I in a particular hurry to get anywhere at 3PM on a Saturday? Not really. Did I still get unreasonably, and embarrassingly angry? You bet.
I muttered a few things about “the principal of the thing,” and just about the same time I was about to lovingly instruct the driver with my horn, the person behind me beat me to the punch.
Great. Now at this point I was angry in two seperate directions. I was the angry center of a big, dumb, angry sandwich. The driver in front of me got the message, and quickly sped up. We all moved on with our day, a little more angry, and a little less patient.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to anger and filled with unfailing love. Psalm 103:8.
I had a few more minutes to cool off on my drive, and even though I was alone in the car, I was really embarrassed. I always liked to think that I was somehow “above” getting angry at something as trivial as a few seconds wasted at a stoplight… but I wasn’t.
As I reflected on this week’s Words of Hope verse from Psalm, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness that God isn’t like me at all. Conceptually, I think I can wrap my head around something like “unfailing love.” But I could never dream of walking it out in practice. No matter how hard I tried, in the end, my patience has limits and my love has conditions.
God’s love is counter intuitive. In all of my shortcomings, He sees somebody worth loving and offering new forgiveness daily. Where I look out into the world and see lost causes, He sees people worthy of Jesus’ death on the cross. That’s perfect love.
My prayer for all of us this week is that we are reminded of God’s love for us, and that He uses us, even with all our flaws, to extend that love to one another. I pray that in those moments at the stoplight, we remember can remember the grace we’ve been given, and pass it along.