I was driving home from school today when the woman behind me started honking. We were turning left, and I think the person at the front of the line wasn’t moving fast enough. The light went from green to yellow as I turned, and she swerved behind me through the red.
At the next light, she laid on her horn again.
“Holy crap, lady,” I said within the safety of my car. “Back off.”
I was exhausted from a busy but fantastic weekend, so I decided to loop through the McDonald’s drive-through and grab a coffee. Somehow I wasn’t surprised when she turned into the drive-through behind me. I rolled my eyes. She was such a pain.
I ordered my coffee, and pulled out my debit card to pay. As my car slowly inched forward toward the payment window, I felt a softness sway inside of my chest.
Pay for her order, I heard.
Immediately I knew it was God. This morning I asked him to start speaking to me, but this was not what I had in mind. I decided to ignore him. There was no way I was paying for the rude lady behind me. She needed to chill.
Glancing in my rearview mirror, I saw her. Her lips were pressed in a tight line, her eyes sunken and hollow.
“She’ll probably order something expensive, God… and you know I’m trying to save money because of school.”
Pay for her order.
“She was so rude to me! Who needs to honk that excessively? I was literally just following the flow of traffic.” I heaved a huge sigh.
I didn’t hear anything again, but my debit card felt heavy in my hands. My car moved along and the boy at the window told me my total.
I looked in the rearview mirror again, then said to the boy slightly begrudgingly, “Can I pay for the woman behind me, too?”
The boy smiled and said, “Sure. Her total comes to $1.15.”
“Of course it does,” I said. Of course God would orchestrate something like this and only ask me to pay a dollar. It wasn’t about the money, I knew — it was about listening to him, about doing what he asked of me. Being faithful in the small things and all that.
I tapped my card and moved along. Watching her in my rearview again, I saw her face looking surprised, and then her face looking softer, and then she was looking at me. Our eyes met in my mirror. My window was down and I heard her yell in a low, gruff voice, “Hey! Thank you!”
I gave her a thumbs up and drove off. As I turned back onto the highway, I cringed at the prospect of my pride getting in the way of loving her. I speak of love and goodness and honouring God — but do I apply that to my real, actual life? More often than not, I’m afraid the answer is no.
I hope that lady saw God today. Or maybe she didn’t.
But I sure did.