After getting her all settled in at the hospital, I found a group of people waiting at my car. They all were asking for transport back to Kalomo, which is about a 30 minute ride. One of them was a man I recognizes from around Kalomo. He had three of his kids with him and his mother (their grandmother) had been admitted there and had just died. The other ladies were all with another woman who had just had a baby last night.
Before I'd even heard their stories or seen who they were, I was annoyed. First of all, I was exhausted from a night of little sleep. Second of all, I was just worried leaving her there and feeling anxious. So I just had in my mind a nice, peaceful drive home listening to my music, praying, and thinking (and being alone!). So seeing them all standing there wanting to cram in my car just made me mad. It ruined my plan of a peaceful drive home. They all asked so politely if I could possibly give them a lift. I agreed, but I'm sure my tone and body language suggested how annoyed I was at having to bear this inconvenience (a pull off on the side of the road when we got into town. Bringing them all home literally took an extra 30 seconds of my time).
But it didn't matter how little of an inconvenience it really was. It still messed with my plan and my privacy, and my selfishness reared its ugly head. As we were driving home, I was just so disappointed in myself. Why couldn't I just choose kindness at first? Why couldn't I have squealed with excitement for this family and their new baby and sat a few seconds longer and mourned with this man and his children?
As we were driving home, I did turn the music on softly. I refrained from belting it the way I would have, but every song that came on just convicted me over and over again. How much patience and grace God has poured over me! How little it would take to pour it out on others! I know how refreshing it is when someone offers kindness and warmth to me. It can change my whole day. Every day we're afforded countless opportunities to do that for people. To be living examples of God's love and goodness to us.
Today I failed. Big time. God changed my heart by the end of the drive and I was able to see how incredibly petty and juvenile my feelings were when I put them in the proper perspective. A long time ago I wrote down in my Bible, "Any goodness in me is borrowed from God." I remember hearing that for the first time and being so taken aback by it. When I'm kind and graceful and patient, it's not me but the spirit in me. Transforming me. Molding me. Making me more like him. On my own, I'm not all those things. When I try to rely on myself to be kind and graceful and patient in my own strength, I fail miserably. Today was just a strong reminder of how much I need God to make me who He wants me to be.
When we reached Kalomo, I pulled over, dropped them off, and watched them walk away to the different places they were going. I'm grateful we crossed paths today and for the way God used them to keep refining this stubborn heart of mine.