I did it. I almost bled to death from biting my tongue last night. (I am on blood thinners after all).
Ok, so I didn’t really, but it sure was mentally excrutiating pretending their was a muzzle on my mouth while someone was badmouthing me within earshot. But I somehow managed (only with that Holy Spirit) not to retaliate.
It was a couple. I saw them looking at me when we crossed paths in the first aisle, but I thought nothing of it. Convinced it was just my paranoia when something felt amiss as they passed, I ignored the unsettled feeling and went back to shopping.
The man looked familiar, but being a nurse and having as many jobs as I’ve had in 18 years you cross a lot of faces. You usually won’t recall them unless they were either horrible circumstances, or beautiful outcomes. Mediocre instances get filed in the ‘temporary cookies.’ That’s where this guy was in my memory – not significant.
I pass them a couple more times, and each time it feels more and more unnerving, but I tend to overthink things these days so I try to ignore it. I despise grocery shopping and just wanted to get home in the bed. No time for distractions.
I get to the checkout, and they magically end up in line behind me, but stayed just far enough back that he could continue to inflate his ego-by apparently stepping on me.
That uneasy sense was correct. He was talking about me. I didn’t hear exactly all that was said, but I heard enough to know he was inflating a story. There was mention of sutures and how he informed me, “That ain’t gonna work!” But he started speaking just low enough afterward that I missed the assumed dramatic ending about my apparent incompetence, sprinkled with his superior knowledge.
The old me would have made a scene. I would have called him a cross-eyed, middle-aged, in-denial-about-his-balding jerk, and that he wasn’t fooling anybody with that spiked hair , and then asked who the bleep he was anyway. Then I would’ve spurted out some more profanities and mowed him down with more insults. But I didn’t.
Oh, but I almost did. I turned to them behind me in line and opened my mouth to speak when the girlfriend shamefully made brief eye contact. Somehow, I managed to close my lips back together and a gave a smug, brief smile, turned to cashier who was finishing my transaction, took my money, walked to my car, shut the door, then I cried. And cried some more.
My first thought was, “This is what you get for talking about how good you were today on your blog.. Haha. You’re a liar. You’re a poser.”
Seconds later I saw Jesus on the cross. Of course I didn’t see him literally, but I thought about the righteous man He was and how He said nothing to, or even about His persecutors. He simply asked God to forgive them. Wow.
I still couldn’t tell you who the guy was, nor do I care. All I can do is pray for him (and his need to inflate his ego). Right?
I suppose if Jesus could do that, I could muster the strength to swallow my pride in front of another poser – at least momentarily.
It sure wasn’t easy though.. (my photos reflects the internal conflict…grrr…)