By Jade Lee
Suffering and saying nothing back, this was a day I would have to allow GOD to fight my battles. I pull up to the gas station. I pull out my card to begin pumping gas. I swipe my card and enter my zip code.
It does not work I do it a couple more times thinking, “What’s wrong with my card?” Then I realize I’m typing in the wrong code. As soon as I finally get it right a youthful sports car zips up right in front of me. I’m standing between my vehicle and the gas pump about to pull the pump out. It’s not long before I realize there’s a young white man whose face has turned bright red in fiery anger. He’s yelling at me, at the top of his voice.
He’s railing angry words declaring that, “There’s lanes…you’re not going total my car!” And I respond with an even tone saying, “I apologize.”
But I know at this point he does not hear a word I am saying. And I know at this point it is a very act of GOD that I am being so kind or calm.
In my head, there’s a quiet storm, not a calm. I’m preparing myself for the worst. Is this the day when for the very first time I am about to be called the “n” word?
Is he about to get out of his car?
Is he thinking he can do this because I’m a caramel young lady in the Deep South or because I’m a woman?
Maybe he grew up seeing his parents do the same, specifically his father.
But it was probably just because his car was almost totaled and he loved his baby.
But it’s sad I have to wonder…could it have been rooted in racism? If anything happens to me will there even be true justice served?
He then storms away angry. He storms away driving speedily out of the gas station
He drives just as quickly as he did a moment before when I was turning into an establishment and suddenly a vehicle appears out of nowhere driving right towards me.
I’m shocked by his cars appearance and almost hit him. He swerves away from me just in the nick of time.
But I never expected him to turn around, follow me to the gas station, drive up to me and yell at the top of his voice with verbal assaults.
Me, a young black woman alone in the south, in a really uncomfortable situation, feeling danger.
I didn’t know what he was about to do next. Yes, he was that angry. Irrational angry. I’ll get out of the car in your face angry. I may hit you with my car angry.
It was at that point the wisdom to say nothing that would escalate the situation kicked in, which is not necessarily in my “first hand nature.”
Of course afterwards a slew of great responses rolled throughout my mind. I could have said this and this and this.
But none of that foolishness would have placed me in a safe position or him in a place where he would not take it to an even more dangerous place.
Thousands of years ago, Jesus was railed upon with more than words. People were driving nails into his body, he was trust upon a cross and a crown of thorns was driven into his head.
Yet, He said nothing. He was quiet as a sheep going to the slaughter. And He did nothing wrong.
He paid the ultimate price and it wasn’t His fault.
There is a time when we need to speak up, to report an incident, to declare it from the mountaintop until justice is served.
Then there are moments we need to be silent, allowing the LORD to bring justice. We see leaders in the Civil Rights Movement act in this way, motivated by the teaching of Jesus.
And we can all learn a lesson of holding our peace as He did on Calvary, for just a while longer.
To pray for our enemies as I was challenged to do, knowing this was his issue, not mine.
And to give it over to the King like a bird flying out of once so tightly gripped hands.
Then our souls are free to forgive, to let go, to move on into peaceful quietness.
Is there someone who has violated you, abused you or mistreated you? Perhaps it is time to lose yourself from the grip of their words and actions knowing their behavior is not your burden to carry.
And to quietly allow the LORD to bring justice in a way you could never while praying for their healing and letting them go; you will then experience a sort of revival-resurrection that you’ve probably been waiting for due to pain.
Meditation: 1 Peter 2:21-25 MSG
“This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step. He never did one thing wrong, Not once said anything amiss. They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.”
1 Peter 2:21-25 MSG
My Prayer for you: Father I pray for those who like me were in a situation they felt violated or mistreated. Maybe it’s because they were discounted, lied to, talked about, verbally or physically assaulted. Maybe they have wrestled with areas of self blame for their current situation and wondered why it happened, what could they have done to have hindered such a situation? But today I pray for the freedom from self blame or condemnation that comes with release, with truth. And I pray for the Liberty that propels us into peace when we let go, we forgive and we loose the burden of others at their worse. And we give it all to you, trust you to fight our battles while wishing for their deliverance or salvation. In our quietness, make us more like You, setting appropriate boundaries on all our relationship while loving harder. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.