Wait…did this child just spit on me?
I felt the moisture on my chin and neck. My hands rushed to my face, but stopped short of touching. Everything around me was a blur of movement and sound. It was almost as if time stood still for just a moment.
Just for me.
I heard more than saw people grabbing the young person and I felt more than saw hands ushering me in the other direction. Quickly.
My eyes focused on the lady in front of me on the other side of the open classroom door, waving me her way. The arms guided me and I walked through. She placed her arm around me and moved me forward, toward the restroom.
I remembered the hand sanitizer I kept in my pocket. I reached in my pocket, grabbed the bottle, poured a healthy dose in my hand and lathered it on my chin and neck. I could think of nothing other than getting the offending moisture off of my face as white hot rage started bubbling to the surface. I could not believe this. How dare they do something like that to me?! I’m simply trying to do my job…
I wasn’t being confrontational… matter of fact, I was on the other side of the room, minding my own business!
I made it to the restroom, washed every exposed area I could and lathered on another layer of sanitizer. I tried to calm down and return to the room. Once there however, my emotions overcame me and I had to leave. I have never, in my life, been spit on. And all those stories you hear of the rage you feel behind it…they’re true. But what I didn’t expect was the aftermath.
I felt like a punk. I should have retaliated in some fashion.
I should have done this, I should have done that. And now they’re talking about sympathy for the child’s plight?! I think not!
Outwardly, I hear you, inwardly, I’m seething. But, I’m a Christian after all. I should forgive, right?
Forgiveness is a tall order to ask for sometimes isn’t it? I mean, this child didn’t even ask for my forgiveness, didn’t muster up a sincere apology, AND is far from a baby. They fully understood what they were doing and did it intentionally. Why should I forgive? Oh, I know all about what the Bible says, but I’m darn mad, my feelings are hurt, and I’ve been humiliated. But in my spirit, I could hear, “but look at the cross”.
This incident triggered a tailspin of emotional, mental, and spiritual despair which culminated in me crying out for help from my circle. They closed ranks and again I was reminded of spiritual warfare. It is real, it is serious, and I am in the midst of it.
Four or so weeks later, I found myself in the room with this child. We had been cordial to each other for a few weeks and my anger had long since abated. But yesterday, this child needed help, and what did I do? I helped. I stood right there next to them, helping them through everything on their worksheet.
No animosity. No anger. No hurt. No humiliation.
For over a year, way before this incident, I have been praying that my mind, will, and emotions conform to be more like His.
For weeks before this incident, I had been praying over and for these children. His Word talks about being refined in the fire and spiritual warfare is definitely fire. It comes in all sorts of guises: sickness, injury, marriage, parenting, employment, unemployment, death, birth, the simple, the big…being spit on.
So when I prayed that prayer today and He brought yesterday to my attention, it clicked.
Wow. I am being refined. My mind, will, and emotions are being conformed. My prayers are being answered.
And just like that…Peace calms raging storms.
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