As usual, I was in a rush.
I seem to have 2 speeds: asleep and hurry.
I was late getting home, and
in my flurry to get into the house to start dinner,
I shoved open my car door with too much enthusiasm.
It clunked into the lawn mower handle.
A long, angry, black mark scarred the car door.
How was I going to explain this to Mr. 4-Ever?
I had already wrecked the car twice since we’d been married.
Now every time I say, “Honey, I need to talk to you,”
he jokingly responds,
“Robyn, did you wreck the car again?”
There was no getting around it,
I’d just have to fess up.
This time I had to tell him I’d dented the car
and I wasn’t even driving!
Seems there is no end to the number of creative ways
I damage my vehicle!
“I need to talk to you,”
I said as I came into the house.
Predictably, he teased, “Robyn, did you wreck the car again?”
“Well, wreck might be too strong a word, but I did give it a new look.”
His face froze and without a word,
he went to the garage to inspect the damage.
When he came back in the house, he said,
“Honey, I’m sorry I left the mower so close to where you park your car.
I should have made sure it wasn’t in your way.”
His response left me speechless.
Who responds like that?
Who disarms a potentially volatile situation in that way?
I’d been the careless one.
I was the one who should have apologized for not paying attention,
and for the new design on my car door.
Mr 4-Ever taught me a powerful lesson about
reactions and responses.
Sometimes, a gentle response is all it takes to
defuse, calm, and resolve an ugly situation or
keep an angry situation from escalating.
What about you?
How do you respond to ugly news?
With a harsh word or a gentle response?
I wish I could say I always keep my cool, but
that would be a lie.
I can say that I’m working on it, and
more often than not, my responses are gentle and kind.
Tell me what works for you.
Scripture refresher: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1, NIV
Prayer: Father, let me be a quick learner of this lesson and not be a sharp responder. Teach me to extend gentleness and not a harsh rebuke. Amen.