Thursday, March 22, 2012

Been There Before

It had been a hectic day, it was raining, and I had to stop at the store on my way home from work, and I was less than excited about it.  Creeping through the parking lot, I saw a parking space that brought a little delight to my heart on that messy evening.  I turned on my blinker and waited for an oncoming vehicle, who by the way, was not creeping through the parking lot. 

Yep, you guessed it, she whipped in the spot I was going for.  And yes, it was quite obvious.  I muttered something not so nice to myself and whipped into the space next to her.  First of all, how ridiculous was it that I was irritated at her snatch when there were 2 spaces to begin with?

I know.  Silly.  But hey, at least I'm being honest.

And while I'm being honest, yes, I gave her the you took my spot laser beam eyes.

I hopped out of my little car and bebopped my way into the store, never paying any more attention the the parking space stealer.

I got the few things I needed, which included 2 mammoth ferns for my porch.  Did I mention my car was little?  Just checking.

As I wrestle my Large ferns into my small car, I notice the vehicle is still parked in the space next to mine, and she was in her car.  At one point as I was trying to keep my buggy from rolling away, while not completely mauling my ferns, I noticed she was outside her vehicle.  I glanced that way and she looked over at me, so I politely smiled, grumbling to myself about my the parking place, and she smiled back.  Once I completed my wrestling match, she approached me.

"Would you mind to give me a jump?" she asked, checks flushing.  One arm in a sling, she stroked her forehead with her other hand and added, "I left my key on and now it won't start."

"I sure can.  Do you have cables?" I asked digging for my keys, immediately feeling guilty about the parking space grumbling.  She was obviously not having a good day.

"Yes," she answered, magically producing jumper cables within seconds. 

It was becoming apparent to me she had been in this boat before.

And so had I.

When I was young and actually wanted to be cool, we were by no means rich.  In the social sense, we were poor.  I was very lucky to even have a car, and the car I had was no luxury vehicle.  Before I was allowed to get my driver's license, my dad made me prove to him I could change the oil, the battery, and the spark plugs myself because "having a car brings responsibilities and if you're gonna have one, you need to know how to take care of it". 

This car. This car. This car.  Remember, I actually wanted to be cool at this point in my life and it was not cool to have a junky car.  It was the car that would never completely die.  It was a hypochondriac in the car sense, it always had something wrong with it. 

Jumping a dead battery - Piece. Of. Cake.  This was a problem I had doctored before.

You see, I had mastered that skill by at least age 12,  I'm sure.  There was always a lawn mower or a vehicle that wouldn't start, so I was no stranger to a set of jumper cables. 

Feeling proud that I knew how to help her, I pulled my car closer so the cables would reach, she hooked up her end and I hooked up mine.  With the connections made, she jumped in her car, turned the key, and it cranked right up.

The young lady thanked me several times and I assured her that it was no problem at all because I had been in her shoes before.

Smiling, she climbed into her car, I hopped into mine and drove away.  Immediately my mind began turning.  It was one of those many times I have been thankful that I grew up on the poorer side of the social spectrum.  If  I hadn't then I would have had no clue how to help her.

I felt that familiar nudge from the Spirit.  It's kind of like when we've been poor spiritually.  Even though I hated my not cool car and hated it breaking down aand having to know how to jump it, etc, I have used what I learned in those years many, many times.  I wouldn't trade them. 

Similarly, even though we wish we had never done some of the things we have done, even though we wish we had never been in some of the places we have been, wished we had never made some of our biggest mistakes, it's that poor past He can richly use to help someone else if we are willing to be transparent.

We all have different stories and different pasts, but let me encourage you, there is no shame in your past.  It can be an amazing tool for someone else. 

Big or small, what in your life can He use to help someone else?

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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