I'm a fan of actress Meg Ryan. I'm not sure why I feel like I relate to her, but I do. I'm an absolute sucker for Sleepless in Seattle, and I kinda like You've Got Mail, too. In the latter, Ryan's character is non-confrontational, and she has a hard time responding to criticism in the moment. She then spends time crafting the perfect response in her head--well after the opportunity has passed.
I know a lot of people are like that; I certainly am. Call me out in the moment, and I'll stand there with hives all over my neck looking like an idiot who cannot make an argument. That night in bed, I'll craft the perfect response in my head.
I found myself crafting that perfect response in my head a few weeks ago. (This is the story behind the "Lectures" post.) Someone approached and lectured my mom. There are several problems with this. 1) Everyone knows my mom is not going to fight back; it's an easy pick for a bully. 2) The lecture was not about my mom; it was about me.
And both of those things made me angry. Someone really had an issue with me, and I'm an easy target for an attack myself. But my mom's an even easier one. My mom protection mode went in reverse. Instead of being indignant that someone went after my kid, I was indignant that someone went after my mom.
Of course, if I'd just read the Bible and know my place in the church and my family, then the whole issue could've been avoided. But you know I'm a pastor with a Master's degree, people like me don't read the Bible...
(Maybe I should stop now and pray, "Create in me a pure heart...")
My husband found the whole situation hilarious. He urged me to put on a halter top and short shorts, grab a margarita and a copy of Fifty Shades of Gray, and leave him to watch the kids--all in view of my critic. That would've helped.
One of my aunts said this critic and my husband and I should engage in a Biblical conversation of sorts. Well, I could've stayed out of that all together. This critic thinks she knows the Bible, and my husband actually does know the Bible. The fireworks would've been fun to watch, though.
Then, there was the moment it was time for this crowd to say a prayer. I thought as the ordained minister in the bunch, I might have the honor of praying for them. But she was there, and that just wouldn't do.
I wanted to confront her. I wanted to return the favor and give her a lecture, or maybe a sermon. I've delivered a couple of those this summer; I'm on a roll. The lecture/sermon in my head started like this, "The last time I read the Bible, it said that if you have an issue with someone, then you go to them. NOT THEIR MOM! If you've got an issue with me, then you are supposed to come to me."
I prayed for clarity over whether or not I should speak up. I literally tossed and turned for two nights thinking about it. Should I overcome my conflict avoidance and approach her? But I didn't. I learned long ago that lectures are ineffective, and that arguing with some people is pointless.
Sometimes you just take it...hopefully with less sarcasm than me. Sometimes you rest in what you know to be true, whether others recognize that truth or not.