Notes from Jan

Parking Lot Penance

September 28, 2016

It happened in the parking lot by Marshalls. While Kate, Maggie and their dolls inhabited another world in the backseat, I waited for a parking place.   A few cars ahead of me, a  large SUV idled. I assumed they were waiting for the space, closer to them on the left side.

As I turned right into the newly vacated spot, the SUV backed up, honking like an irate goose.  In case I didn’t catch that I’d parked in her spot, she shot her tallest finger in my direction, then waved furiously.  I don’t think she was drying a fingernail.

 Once parked, she walked towards me.  Lord, help.  As she approached, I opened my door, stepped out to quickly apologize and offer to back out.  Before I could utter a word, she softly said.

I’m so sorry for what I just did to you.  That was uncalled for.  Sometimes I let small things get the best of me.  What difference did it make if I went left two cars down, while you took the right hand space.  None. “ 

Then she added, “God bless you.”

I felt stunned, relieved….and oddly blessed.

Two wide-eyed girls hopped out exclaiming,”That was so nice of that lady to apologize.”

Yes, it was nice.

Nice: kind, thoughtful, pleasant, good.

It was also important.

and rare.

I hope I remember to be nice when I’m the SUV.


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  • Reply Jim Trent September 28, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    What a remarkable event – anger turned to apology. Would that more conflicts would end this way.

  • Reply Dale Lefever September 28, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks Jan,

    Apparently, the “one finger salute” remains as a reminder that God isn’t finished with us yet. Of course, it beats a sharp object in the belly.

    Stories make real life a constant learning laboratory.

    You teach well my friend.

  • Reply Sue Andringa September 28, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Wonderful, Jan … a teachable moment for all! 🙂

  • Reply Mark Taylor September 29, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Wonderful experience, especially for the kids. Maybe she was a Gordon alumna who was suddenly embarrassed when she recognized you!

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