A Gut Punch Gift from a Stranger
I went to a three day writer’s conference this week. It was fantastic! I soaked in so much knowledge my brain still hurts! I have a story for each day. This is from day 1…
The beautiful Beth Moore had just finished speaking and eager fans beelined to meet her. Two lines had formed to get autographs, tell stories, hugs and selfies. One line was moving incredibly fast and the other at a snail’s pace. People were starting to push, roll eyes and sigh. The following happened quite quickly (I’m paraphrasing even though I have used quotes). If you know me, I’m fierce (according to Beth Moore) and sympathetic (according to my husband) so I said, “ya’all there are two lines here, can we take turns so both lines are moving.” A lady out of no where called me by name and said, “Now Micah that is not a spirit filled attitude to have here!” as she quickly walked away. What?! Who was that? Gut Punch! I’m at a conference with approx 200 plus people that I don’t know and she called me out by name. I caught a glimpse of her. Both lines now started to move but I wondered who was that? Was I really rude? No one else seem offended or would they say if they were? Everyone is so kind in Texas maybe they were thinking “bless her” or “she needs Jesus” but they would never say! My mind started to spin. Satan does that. He will take a situation and twist it and turn it and attack you with it or make you feel under attack. It was happening, right here, right now, on the first night of a three day conference.
We were all encouraged to grab supper with our fellow attendees and answer the questions, “What has been your biggest struggle?” and “What has been your biggest accomplishment?” I found myself in an authentic Mexican restaurant (I don’t eat Mexican) with five COMPLETE strangers. It was a stretch even for this extrovert. We had a wonderful dinner, and it was so yummy! Surprise, who would have thought I actually DO like Mexican food! I truly enjoyed hearing each person’s stories. Sitting next to me was an older woman sharing her heartache. I thought…her voice sure does sound familiar, could she be the woman who called me out?
As we walked out of the restaurant I tapped this stranger on the shoulder and asked,
“Were you the one who called me out in line?”
“Yes, I did, are you ok? she replied.
Yes, I’m fine.
“It was snarky Micah”
“Ya perhaps, I just wanted it to be fair”
“yes, I know, you wanted justice”
“I do want justice, how do you know that?”
“broken people do”
I went on to share a snippet of my story and why I seek justice in so many areas of my life. She listened. I went back to my car and sobbed. I asked God what he was wanting me to learn here because a part of me did not like the way this stranger called me out. I was honest with God…is this pride? Are you exposing my flesh? Truth be told, had she been gentle, I would not have heard her nor would I have questioned the Lord in what he was seeking to expose and teach me. I called Brett and shared all of this with him and we agreed God was speaking.
The next morning I spoke with this stranger again and thanked her for calling me out. I expressed to her that I needed to hear it but it didn’t feel good. Refining never does. I felt like the whole room heard her and that she shamed me. Her message was needed and heard but her approach was off. Let’s be honest…all of us are often off in our approach to others. She heard me, affirmed that she didn’t mean to cause any more pain. We listened to each other, well, in my opinion. I acknowledged that I need refining and that I got the message from God through her. She acknowledged she needs to be conscientious of when to be more tender and gentle especially when working with broken people in her line of work. This was iron sharpening iron at its best!
This stranger had given me a gift. The gift of awareness of how I come across to others. The gift of zeroing in on the voice of God through strangers. The gift of refining me to become more like HIM. We are all a work in progress, in a refining fire. I desperately desire more of Him and less of me.
Have you been gut punched by a stranger? Was there a lesson to be had? What did you learn? Share your story with me, I can’t wait to hear it and learn from you.
Seeking Justice. Loving Mercy. Walking humbly with my God;