That’s a line from the movie Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie. Well, others ignorance can be very un-amusing. This came to my mind this weekend when I had to deal with my Ex-Husband and his wife regarding a request they made of me.
Their ignorance did not amuse me. In fact I was quite upset and angry. Of course that’s when the Lord decided I needed to learn a new lesson in my Christian journey. The Lord decided that he was going to teach me how I as a Christian need to treat my enemies. Oh Good…
I have related previously that I have been having difficulties with my Ex-Husband regarding our daughter. These troubles have escalated to the point where I had to get a lawyer involved. These issues have been continuing for the last 2 years and getting progressively escalated.
So, my current view of him and his wife are less than favourable. It has been extremely hard trying to act and show correct Christian behaviour towards them. It’s been even harder praying for them and choosing to keep forgiving them. This time God asked me to do something for them. Actually be actively nice and help them.
Basically what happened was that they dropped the ball regarding my daughter getting a new passport. They planned a vacation and she needs her passport, but they did not get it done months ago. Instead they left it in my daughter’s hands. She had no idea where to start or what she needed, so left it.
She was visiting me this past week (which is why I had not blogged last week) for the only week I would get to see her all summer. On the evening of the last day they called her (not me) and said she needed to get her passport ASAP. My daughter thought she just needed to fill out a form. I looked up the requirements and explained there was much more to it than that.
This is how it came to be that they called up my daughter and told her that she needed to take the Monday off and get me to take her into the city (1hour without traffic one way). They never called me; instead they put my daughter in the middle which I don’t like at all. Not to mention this meant that my last night with her she was upset, anxious, and they had intruded on my only time with her.
I reacted as any “good” Christian does…I said “you have got to be kidding me! They actually think that it’s ok to bother you about this on my time with you? And they think you should take the day off from your new job at the last minute!”
And the very Christian: “they seriously expect me to drop everything and go into the city to do their work for them? for their trip? Because they don’t want to drive you? And because they dropped the ball? What nerve!”
Then she got a call and went to a different room and I said to my husband “I can’t believe they actually think I would and should do this! Are they really that ignorant?! After all they have been putting me through! They actually think bugging her about this on OUR time with her is ok?! They actually think I should spend the gas and time to go there then drive her home (total time driving only: 7-8 hours, not including time getting the passport application done or traffic). They just figure I am doing nothing?! Or do they just think I should drop my plans? Why? Because they don’t want to drop theirs?! Are they really that ignorant and selfish?”
To which my husband said “yes that’s exactly how they are, but what should WE do?”
It was then that I had the prompting from the Holy Spirit (I believe) telling me that I needed to do what I could to help. Not because they deserved it, but because it was the right and Christian thing to do. Hoo Boy! That was a hard pill to swallow. Every fiber of my being wanted to let them wallow in the problem they created. But…
The bible says “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those that curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6: 27-36.
“To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head” Romans 12:20.
So we got her passport pictures done, I printed off the forms, filled out what I could, placed paper markers on spots needing signing, placed instruction sticky notes on sections in the application to make sure the right information was in the right spot, explained everything on the application to my daughter, and placed it all in big envelope, and wrote a checklist on the front for her to check everything off as she got it done, so nothing was missed. To make sure it wasn’t forgotten at our house, I placed it with my stuff, and then had her put it in her bag in front of me, right before we left to take her home.
I didn’t drive her to the city, instead her boyfriend kindly did, but I did all I could to make sure she got this done in time. Partly because I wanted her to get to go on the trip, but mainly because I knew it was how I was supposed to act as a Christian. The upside is that she was reminded how much I am willing to help her when she needs me. She got to see me act as a Christian and show grace and mercy by doing what I could to help even though I didn’t have to by the world’s standards.
Showing your enemies grace, mercy and love by helping them in a time of need is by far one of THE hardest things to do. Especially when they are in the midst of causing you more pain and strife, and showing no kindness to you, however, that is exactly what we are to do. This is one of the ways we stand apart from the world. It’s probably one of the most dramatic ways we stand apart. It’s hard for non-Christians not to notice when you help those that are your enemies, and it brings up questions in them. Such as, “why are they acting like that? Doing that? Especially after what I/they have done?” To the world it makes no sense because if it was them, they would retaliate with the same way they were treated. As Christians we are simply to show the same love and grace that Jesus showed us.
This was a difficult lesson, I am still feeling angry that they intruded on my time, and just expected me to clean up their mistake. However, I feel that it just shows my daughter and them what Christians really are to act like. Maybe next time their ignorance will amuse me! But…I doubt it.