It never seems to fail that when this one particular person walks into our office there will be comment of protest over something.
“Do I have to put on this stupid thing?”
“Why is it always cold (or hot) in this place?”
“I suppose you want me to go in there and wait with that room full of men now don’t you?”
“Are you sure I have to pay a $22 co-pay? I thought it was $18 like Cathy’s.*”
“What difference does it make what color the ink is I sign this paperwork in?”
“You really should but chairs out here.”
Just seeing her name on the schedule is enough to start me praying for God to keep His hand clamped over my mouth so I don’t respond to her complaints with what I so want to say, “Get over it already!”
“I told Cathy she had to let go of all that Southern Bible Belt subservient attitude and respect junk and just let it fly.”
The story that followed was full of examples when this client had learned to counter that Southern Bible Belt subservient attitude and respect. In her “stand” against this she refuses to use a title to address anyone. For example, she doesn’t refer to her doctor as Dr. Field* she refers to her as Brenda. Yes ma’am or sir doesn’t cross her lips. She doesn’t even acknowledge the “authority” a policeman may “think” they have over her. She refuses, in her words, “to allow anyone to be above me. If I speak to you using your name I am saying you are my equal. If I don’t use your name I am saying you are my inferior. I refuse to use titles or “manners” as Cathy calls it, because I will not be beneath anyone.”
To me it seemed her tirade would never end. Of course she blamed it all on Christianity.
“Lord please let me say something!” Yet He didn’t. In my head I thought of several things to point out to her. I wanted to grab my Bible and read to her:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12 N.I.V.
There! Doesn’t that tell you something about respect? Not enough what about I Peter 2:13-14 when Peter tells us God wants us to show respect to everyone?
Don’t you know Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” – Matthew 5:38-48 N.I.V.
Oh I want to hurl these scriptures at her but I don’t because God doesn’t release me to. Why doesn’t He let me speak?
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.” -Matthew 13:3-9 N.I.V.
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.” – Matthew 13:18-23 N.I.V.
She who has ears, let her hear. That stood out to me. Was God telling me that this client didn’t have ears to hear? Or that her ears were open she just needed to hear?
“When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.” This too stood out to me. Was God telling me that this client had heard the word and didn’t understand it? Had Satan robbed her already of her what difference The Word could have made in her life?
My job, if it is God’s intention, is to sow seeds in this client’s life. Which I cannot do with smart comments back to her jibes or by judging her by how bitter she seemed or the lifestyle she had chosen. Or throwing Bible verses at her like lightning bolts. Furthermore, I can’t hold this client to the standards in the Bible if she isn’t a believer. That’s not my responsibility.
Farmers who sow seeds aren’t talking a lot as they do so. Even though today most such tasks are completed much differently “back in the day” sowing seeds took a lot of manual labor. Preparing the soil, drilling the holes for the seeds, dropping the seeds into the holes, covering them up, making sure the “garden” was watered, weeded…a lot of work before harvest time. Even today with all the modern advances it’s a lot of work.
So the first step in sowing the seeds in this situation seems to be keeping my mouth shut and letting my actions do the preparation…God will reap the harvest when the time is right.
So, how about you? Has God ever had you remain silent in a situation where you wanted badly to speak up to defend Him?
*Names changed to protect privacy.