I slammed on the breaks and pulled into someone’s driveway so I could turn back toward our house.
With ever increasing decimal and agitation, I yelled, “How could you have forgotten your shin guards? I reminded you five times!! Do you realize this is going to make you late for your very first practice? I can’t believe this! Do you know how much money we’ve spent on your soccer? If you really want to do this, you’re going to have to be way more responsible than this!!! What were you thinking??”
It was then that I glanced down at my cell phone, which was still in my hand. And, oh no.
It showed 00:43.
I pressed the red button with my thumb and it began blinking at 00:44. Horrified, I began mentally calculating how many seconds I had used in my rant. Yup. About 43 seconds.
In my crazed tongue lashing, I had forgotten that I just widened my audience to include the friend I had just dialed. Drat, drat, drat! I hate it when my private sins lose their privacy. (Actually, my son would argue that my sin wasn’t actually that private, but you know what I mean.)
A few minutes later, after I had apologized to my son and pointed the car back in the direction of soccer practice, I redialed my friend. When she picked up, I said sheepishly, “Anna? I’m mortified.”
She assured me that she had held the phone away from her ear to give me privacy, and that she is no stranger to mom rants. But, still.
The thing that bothered me most (and bothers me still) was that my shame was less over losing my temper with my son, and more over my friend hearing it. So basically, I want to appear far less flawed than I actually am. Which is called hypocrisy.
Jesus warned about hypocrisy in Luke 12:2-3 when he said, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed or hidden that will not be known… and whatever you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.” (Luke 12:2-3)
I could add, ‘Whatever you scream in the car with the windows up will be broadcast by Verizon.‘
It only took 00:43 of someone else listening in for me to be shown the hypocrisy in my heart. Her ears on the matter helped me to get perspective, and have a truly repentant heart before my son and before my God.
But, does God give me these glimpses of my heart’s nastiness to condemn me? To show me just how decrepit I am? No, because with Him, there’s always grace. 43 seconds of sinfulness is met with an eternity of grace. Yes, he wants me to see my sin. But only so that I recognize, and more deeply cherish, his grace.