Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Angry Eyes

To my ministry friends, they don't train you for this in seminary do they? Seriously, how do we train for moments like these?
Have you ever seen my angry eyes? It's a rare sight. I have to confess, I struggled to keep composure moments ago. It was 4:05am when someone was feverishly knocking and ringing the doorbell. Someone I helped with a ride 4 months ago was now waking my family asking for $20 to buy chips and a coke as they take their kid to the hospital. When I refused, they persisted in requesting just $10. It was at that point I struggled to express my disdain for this current situation.
Standing in the cold, with my adrenaline still pumping for fear of emergency, sporting a monstrous headache, and with irritation flooding over me as the realization that this person had to be strung out one some kind of drug to make this absurd request, I struggled to keep my composure.
While my wife can attest that my voice stayed calm even while refusing their audacious request to come in my home, I admit that I struggled. I don't doubt that my eyes gave away the flames of anger rising inside as this bold pan handler turned tail to run back to the minivan that had dropped them off.
I struggle to wrap my brain around it. Oh, and as I write this, I just saw their minivan traveling by in the opposite direction, away from the hospital.
And how did they figure out where I live anyway?
No, they don't train you for these moments in seminary.
So now I'm thinking of the "Friend at Midnight" passage in Luke 11:5-8.
Maybe this person thought they were on "friend status" with me. Maybe they thought that Jesus just meant "be persistent and you'll get what you want." Maybe I would have been more forthcoming if it was midnight and not 4am.
Read this scripture friends and see what you think. "5 Then He said to them, “[d]Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children [e]and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his [f]persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs."
Friends, if you have a legitimate need for more than chips and a coke at 4am in 20 degree cold weather, call first. I'll be a little happier to help.
Ministry friends, my heart goes out to you when this happens to you too. Thanks for all your service and patience.
P.S. I can attest, it is snowing and cold outside. Be careful driving to work this morning.