Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Life...Out Loud + #LookingUp

Something happened to me this year that I didn't anticipate.

Some of my fear have been miraculously replaced with faith.

Not just faith; but a ferocious form of faith & boldness, that has me struggling to keep a tight reign on my tongue.

Sounds like a miracle to me :)

My holding back, being lazy, and blatant disobedience is wilting away.  In it's place is a brassy boldness instead.  O, this could get me into a lot of trouble.  It actually has already proven itself to work best on a very tight leash!

It has me questioning, "Why Now?"
Why all of a sudden is it hard for me to keep my mouth shut tighter than usual?
"Why is worrying about offending others often kept me from defending what was right?"

Do you feel that way?
Why is it so hard to stand up for what you know is right?
Do you look around and see things that are disturbing, but your too afraid to say something because it may offend someone, or worse yet...make them angry?

A few weeks back I was in Walmart shopping with my family.  We had just left church and threw our communion cups in the trash.

I was in the girls department, rummaging through some items with my 10 yr old daughter, when I hear some loud profanity nearby.  I see a aggressive father threatening his wife and 2 small children with vulgar comments and body language that said he was looking for a fight.  He agitated them by leaning in and cussing.  They obviously was used to this kind of scene...but I wasn't.

Afraid of getting involved or offending someone, I moved to another area.

He moved along with us.

No filter.  No care.  No regard.  He just kept speaking vile.

Before long his slander, body posture, and course words caused me to get mad.  Instead of walking away a second time, I decided I would just glance at him.  Maybe if he saw me, and knew I heard him, he would tone it down a bit.  Most people can act a fool in private but if they notice someone may see, they put on a prettier show.

I waited til the next mother blank bomb came shooting out...and I tilted my head up and made instant eye contact with the man.

"What are you looking at?"  He shouted across the aisle at me.  I wanted to tell him exactly what I saw, but I reserved myself, and said, "nothing."

"Then look away," he demanded.  "Mind your own business!"

For some reason I couldn't look away.  I don't know if it was this new-found boldness or a stubbornness I've had since I was a kid that wouldn't allow me to back down.

"You are blanking me off!  He yells!

"I'm sorry, I think you were already mad before I looked at you."  I stated.
"I also believe you made it my business when you cuss your family the way you do in the middle of a department store!" 


My tight leash was let loose just a bit and my tongue started talking.

I could have just walked away, but some part of me felt I must defend his wife & kids from his unruly behavior.  The 20 year old me would've cussed him back, the 30 year old me would've walked away, but the 40 year old me couldn't cuss..couldn't ignore...couldn't be moved.

And there I was, trying to rationalize with the unreasonable.  That got me nowhere.
But at least I said something SOMETHING.

After a few more big Momma words from him and several sidekick adjectives, he gave me a nice bird, screamed one last farewell and off he went.

Needless to say, my husband wasn't quite happy when he came back from picking out some snacks for the kids & learned that a strange man screamed vulgar names at me & in front of our daughter to boot!

The whole dramatic scene made me fire-mad.  My heart was rapidly beating & hands were generously shaking.  All the while, I can't tell you how many people walked by with their heads down while this grown husband/father screamed filthy names at me while I tried to shield my daughter.  I hear all the time how people walk aside while horrible things happen on the street, in their communities, & inside their homes.  I suppose it's easier to not get involved.

I am not sure what switched, or how my cowardly heart began to take simple acts of bravery.  When I was younger I was loud and boisterous in a negative way; when I became a Christian I somehow started believing that I was to be quiet and look away.  I'm done with that!

I can't imagine walking past someone hurting another person, burning a American flag, or disgracing a child.  I no longer will act like I don't see and hear.  It may seem like a simple thing that happened in Walmart but at the time it felt like David taking on Goliath.  It was uncomfortable.  It was intimidating.  It was the right thing to do.

I encourage you to speak up for those that can't or won't speak for themselves.

There is a difference between being scared & living in fear!

Being afraid isn't a big deal...being too afraid to do what you should do, is sin. 

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