If you think you're local supermarket is a madhouse on a Sunday afternoon, try running into mine for a birthday gift on the way to a birthday party with an objective and a time restraint. Not only must you fight for your place in line, but the clerk moves at glacial speed, runs out of receipt paper, replaces receipt paper at the speed of evolution (which for we creationists is VERY slow), argues the price of a bottle of yogurt with the lady three people up from you in line, and runs out of small bills to make change, waiting a quarter of an hour for a manager to bring more bills.
That was me, this afternoon. When I finally got back to the car, smoke billowing out of my ears, my sweet husband recapped on the sermon we just heard at our fellowship. If I wrote it like a story, I would write it like this:
"Ooh, what happened in there?" Daniel says, looking at my red face and clenched jaw.
"You don't want to know," I say.
A sports car lurches into traffic in front of us, almost causing a wreck, and I point at it with my open palm and say, "A zillion things just like that."
Keep in mind, such experiences aren't rare, in fact they are daily, and normally I can take things pretty well in stride. But last night we had watched The Promised Land with Matt Damon and afterward I curled up and wept while the credits rolled because the movie made me miss my homeland - my people - so much that it hurt. Still riding on the wave of last night's emotions, the birthday-gift-buying experience was just too much.
"Oh, honey. Don't I know?!" Daniel empathizes. "But that's why the sermon we just heard was so good! Jonah and the Jews felt the same way, thinking the people should be circumcised first, in the case of the Jews, or punished first, in the case of Jonah..."
"Or learn to drive first," I add, "or learn to form a line, or..."
"Right," he reigns me in. "But that's just the thing. They don't."
Daniel pauses to park the car, looking behind him just in time to see someone almost hit him from behind.
"They just need grace," he says, putting our van in park. "Just like the rest of us."