Sunday, August 5, 2012

Speak to injustice

8:47 p.m. Today's project is to ask myself, and you, about our reaction to injustice. Do we speak up, or keep awkwardly silent, burning with shame on the inside, hoping "someone else" will speak up?

Before I became a born-again believer, my conscience would alternate between being tender and callous, because my heart was not right with God. Prayerfully, there's been significant growth over the last 32 years that I've walked closely with Jesus. Not one of us will reach perfection on this or any other topic in this life, but we can decide to be a person who represents Christ and shows His loving heart toward all people. We can go forward and determine to grow in grace. The Apostle Paul reminds us that we are left to struggle in this endeavor, because it says in Philippians 2:13, NLT:

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases Him.

Now that we've established that any positive or loving characteristics of a believer are the work of God the indwelling Holy Spirit, here is the verse that characterizes the following narrative, I Corinthians 12:13:

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free...

At 2:30 p.m. yesterday, my team member Cynthia and I went out to the front of the Hyatt Regency Hotel Dallas with our luggage, because I had prepaid and scheduled a pickup with Super Shuttle to Love Field airport for 3 p.m. Since we'd seen several of their vans, Cynthia was just going to pay cash. A driver came up to us calling for me, we got my luggage placed in the van, took Cynthia's cash, and we got in while he stored her suitcase. Three other ladies got in, cash customers as well. As the driver, an African, took more directions from his dispatcher, we waited, feeling the heat from 102 damp degrees and an air conditioner that was cranked up but not very effective in the mugginess. One lady began complaining loudly about the delay, saying, "I don't want to be rushed! My plane doesn't leave for 3 hours, but I want to get to the airport, have dinner and relax! I should have taken a cab!" Cynthia and I just talked quietly. Then the van took off, but stopped at another hotel. You would have thought that the sky had fallen down, so outraged was Ms. Complainer that he driver would stop! Obviously, his dispatcher was giving the driver more fares to pick up to fill the van. The complainer yelled, "Now I have to go to the bathroom!" So after many gyrations to get out of the heavy van doors, she just went into the hotel, assigning us loudly to hold her place.

The driver came back with the new passenger, but now it was the complainer herself who was not to be found. She then turned up, saying that the bathroom was on the second floor, so on and so on. Not seeming to notice that she had held us up, more groans came from her as we picked up a couple of very pleasant ladies, prepaid, unlike the complainer, mind you. I started a conversation with the harried driver, who said that he was getting more customers from his dispatcher. The van now full, we headed to the airport, to the Southwest terminal. Luggage was unloaded, cash passengers paid and tipped, and we got in line to check in our luggage. The shuttle remained parked at the curb as the driver closed up the back.

One lady from our shuttle's group complained about the driver's circuitous route, and then said, "You see all the cash he's taking? He won't report that to the company!" It had to be the Lord's righteous anger, not my own, because I was able to confront her in a direct but calm voice: "You don't know that."

Silence from the whole group.

I was proud of  Cynthia, who then said, "Well, he's printing off and giving us all receipts." And indeed he was, from the small computer/printer on his dashboard.

What would you have done? Share your thoughts!

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