Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Almost Punched an Old Geezer

Yesterday I met with what I affectionately call my "Old Ladies Class," a Bible study I do at Morningside of Belmont here in Nashville. When class was over I got on the elevator with one of the members (Frances), and an older gentleman who has visited class from time to time also got on (Bill). Bill is at an age and stage where he doesn't remember much, and Frances reminded him that he had visited our class on occasion.

As we exited the elevator, Bill looked at me and said, "You should teach about the seven ways to lose weight." It is not uncommon for older people to just blurt out things about my weight, so I just benignly smiled and walked away. I was looking for another lady who no longer attends class, but who I always try to find to say hi to.

I couldn't find her, so I turned around to leave, and then I spotted Bill imitating me as a fat person to one of the staff. I couldn't believe it. That is something little kids in school do, not adults. And I really wanted to go over and punch him in the face. Instead, I just glared at him for a minute and walked away.

I really hope that he is no longer responsible for his actions, that what he did is not an indication of a lifelong habit of cruelty, but instead the result of the infantile behavior that accompanies senility.

I have to admit that I thought later about other things I could have done to him, like:
-Grabbing his walker and taunting him to chase me for it.
-Asking him why his family doesn't love him and put him in a nursing home.
-Punching him again.

And there is a good chance he would not remember any of this tomorrow!

But the experience made me appreciate with greater awe and admiration how Jesus responded to those who viciously attacked him-

1 Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

After all, I am fat - there's no denying it! But Jesus was slandered as a false prophet, impugned by false witnesses, condemned by cowards, and beaten and murdered. There was nothing true or right or just in how He was treated. But He did not "revile in return." He trusted in God.

Lots of you have been slandered and abused in ways much worse than I can imagine. Take heart in Jesus' example - put your trust in God, and in due time, He who "judges justly" will vindicate you.

1 comment:

  1. You are a better man than I, Gunga Din.

    Hello. Browsing barbershop videos on YouTube, I came across "Lunch Break" (you all are great) and wanting to learn more, I bounced here onto your blog...and started reading your posts.
    Being a bit of an agnostic, I'm surprised at myself staying so long. (I mean that in a good way) In the incident on this post, I know you did the right thing. The harder thing. Your example is stunning. Personally, I probably would've told the old bugger to sod off. I hate senseless cruelty towards people, and seeing something like that, I would've just reacted I guess, instead of reflecting. Hence, my opening lesser description. *wee smile* You are an amazing person. Regards.