Man. All I was trying to do, was be with friends, and support their man-child- who we all love.
So how did I offend?
I took pictures, during a high school play. *gasp*
Whom did I offend? Someone I don't know.
Apparently- it is no longer possible to take innocent pictures of a high-school play, to later enjoy the memories of a child you've watched grow from a boy to a man.
Because you might be some kind of freak.
I must have missed the announcement, (umm maybe I wasn't listening?..) about there not being any picture taking/filming. (Did I mention I have a bad habit of tardiness?)
After the play was over- my picture taking, made a woman so upset, that she needed to confront me. (loudly) with the director. (She was pretty sure I was planning to put the pictures on the internet or something...) I offered to give her the memory stick -from my camera- for her keeping, I offered to let her see the pictures... so she wouldn't have to worry, I apologized. I explained that I did not "film" the play......
Nothing made any difference.
She had decided before she ever came across the room, what my motivation was, and how wrong I was. She was angry. VERY ANGRY.
Honestly- I felt embarrassed, ticked off, and almost ready to cry. I was sure there was a misunderstanding....I tried to explain. I wasn't doing anything wrong. I also felt bad- to have caused her to be so upset. At one point I wondered if it was a joke... it wasn't.
Basically- after the confrontation- she left- upset. I was upset, the Director was upset. What a mess. I was feeling the unraveling feeling of becoming a mess.
Fortunately- my friends rescued me with laughter, through loving me and laughing at the ridiculous accusations made about me- they really did keep me from breaking down in tears. They also helped me keep perspective on the whole thing.
This morning- I prayed for the lady who was so upset. Her child is safe- I am not "a bad guy" who's gonna do bad stuff with pictures of her child.....but- she doesn't know that. I feel bad for her. The truth is the world is pretty messed up. We need to balance healthy protection for our kids, with trust. Anger is usually based in some other emotion- hers was probably based in fear. I prayed that God would comfort her.
After praying for her today--- I felt convicted as well.
While I generally don't fly off the handle at people . (OK- not at people I don't KNOW) I can think of a number of times where I, decided I knew someones' motivation, purpose or intent- without bothering to ask...or- regardless of their answer.
Call it intuition, call it gut or call it assumption. Sometimes I'm wrong.
I've even, totally built up an emotional response- that refused to change in light of any facts or words that expressed the contrary. Eventually, I come around--- but there has already been damage done to relationships.
It's sad- that the world has become so messy- that we sometimes respond to each other- like everyone is a potential enemy. Whats sadder- is, that I sometimes do. Even, to people I love.
Dear Lord- help me to always walk in your truth- to trust in your truth, and to believe it. God- I ask that you help me to be wise- and trusting, to be protective of my kids and yet loving to others I meet. Lord- help me to not just assume or judge anothers heart or motivations- in anything-- we both know I have a hard enough time doing that for my own! I love you Lord, and ask you to comfort that mom, please- help her to know and trust that her child is safe. I love you Lord- amen.