Reflections on TFB's June 29, 2008 Sunday sermon.

This past Sunday, Pastor Charlie preached on forgiveness.

This morning I blessed with a road test:

This morning at the bus stop, I asked (in what I believe was a polite manner) two of my fellow bus stoppers if they would smoke downwind from me, as I do not smoke. Neither gave me consideration. One remained silent while the other launched into a, frankly, hateful tirade about smokers' rights, bossy white people (like me, I presume...??), and how I had no right to tell him where he could and could not smoke. (NOTE: I asked, not told, and moved when they refused my request.) Here was this man, hurling foul language and racial epithets at me, when all I did was request consideration.

A few facts:
  1. To my knowledge, I did nothing wrong before, during, or after the tirade.
  2. His response was intentional and antagonistic.
  3. He made unjust accusations based on his stereotyping of my race.
  4. Both his smoke and his words did real harm.
  5. I will likely see him tomorrow at the bus stop.
  6. I must decide how I will respond.
  • I will name the offenses: verbal assault and racism.
  • I will NOT downgrade the offense.
  • I will NOT breath his smoke.
  • I will remember that such immediate and intense anger usually arises from deep hurt.
  • I will treat him with the respect due another human person.
  • More than that, I will treat him with kindness.
  • I will NOT intentionally add to his hurt.
  • I will NOT put myself in a position that allows him to hurt me.


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