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 rear view 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 rear view 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 rear view 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 honoring 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.