So, I was going through a drive through getting a bit of coffee the other day. The woman in front of me was waving her phone around and apparently trying to get the person in the restaurant to do agree to something while holding a yapping Pomeranian. There was a back-and-forth exchange while the woman ate what looked like a small container of yogurt or maybe she was feeding the dog something. Honestly, I have no idea. What I do know is she got her drink—quite possibly a half caf, double espresso, non-coffee, coffee flavored milk substitute drink—and drove halfway into the road at the end of the drive through. She stopped and began texting or typing on her phone.
She was then met by someone driving in a hurry through the parking lot toward her as she sat halfway in the intersection playing with her phone, feeding her Pomeranian, and drinking her non coffee, coffee/milk drink. The hurried man was not happy with her being in the intersection. He thought it best to share this with her. He was so loud in sharing with her that we at the drive through window heard him sharing. And boy, was he sharing profusely. And loudly. And, as we might say in this part of the country, in French (ask a southerner if this doesn’t make sense).
And I was reminded of the reason for the season.
Whether this woman was thoughtless and spoiled (I assume spoiled since she was driving a BMW) or simply trying to recover from a horrible week driving a friend’s car, taking care of her friend’s dog, while her Toyota was in the shop, I don’t know. I also don’t know if the guy screaming was some hotheaded, blowhard spoiling for a fight with anybody who crossed paths with him or was late for work after a horrible week and just waiting for something to go right with life for a change. And that’s the point, I didn’t know what the situation for either of these people was. Maybe it was simply what was on the surface. Maybe it was deeper and more nuanced than I could see. The truth is, I don’t, nor will I likely ever know.
And that brings us to the reason—loving kindness.
The story of Jesus’s birth is the story of God’s lovingkindness to us. It is the beginning of the story where God chose to use Jesus as to redefine the Jewish understanding of who God is and how we should respond to that understanding. It is the story that shows us how much God loves us by showing us God’s desire to help us right our path. The season of remembering the beginning of Jesus’s story is the season of God’s lovingkindness toward us which should become the example of our lovingkindness toward one another. It is the time of year to remember that God loves thoughtless spoiled people and struggling to keep it together people, temperamental blowhards and guys just trying to get by.
We love because we are loved.
We love because love is the example we were given.
We love because God loves.
Tis the season.
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