This morning our oldest daughter received an award for earning High Honors. Excellent. She makes us so proud. And grateful. Humbled by the lovely young lady she is growing into.
While there, in a room with a ton of middle schoolers, there was some mic interference. This, of course, gave motion for the kids to chat and giggle amongst themselves. Do you know what happened next?
The Principal stood up and faced the children. That is all. She stood up, faced them, and they stopped the chattering and focused. This is the power of her presence.
I’ve been in hundreds of schools as a speaker/educator. And upon walking thru the front door I always got a sense of the leadership. Granted, children will be children and everything will not be controlled in every second. Given that, what does the leadership’s presence command?
I strive to maintain inner peace and wear it on my sleeve. Children pick up so much from our personalities; If I want my children to be calm and respectful and prayerful then I must embody those qualities. May the presence of the Lord be with us throughout our daily walk.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:17, 18)
The other morning I pulled up at the craft store a few minutes before they opened. There was a car behind me in the empty parking lot. There were maybe five cars parked randomly throughout, the employees maybe. Well, the lady behind me must have felt that I was either driving too slow or that I cut her off because when I pulled into my space, she then pulled up very quickly in the space right next to me. Not only that, but then she gave me the stare-down.
I sat in my car and waited a few minutes for the store to open, as I was. The lady then slammed her door open, hitting my car, with an angry look on her face as if I were wrong for not parking perfectly within my lines – although the entire parking lot was empty.
She could have just parked somewhere else. But she wanted to pick a bone. Wanted to prove me wrong.
My response? I got out and checked my car for damages and would have taken pictures of her, her car, and her license plate had there been damage. There was none.
I could have responded differently though. I could have verbally let her know how wrong she was. But what good would that have done, given her current state? Things could have escalated quickly. She obviously wasn’t in a good mood.
Did I punk out?? Not by my standards. Having a psychology background, I am always considering people’s motives and state of mind. I was in a good mood that morning. I don’t know what this woman was going through, but me not “going off” on her could have been the grace she needed. See, she knew she was wrong. She probably thought to herself: I just dodged a bullet; that woman could have had a dent in her car and sued me. I’d like to think that she was a little more careful and more grateful the rest of the day. Surely had I angrily responded, the situation would have turned ugly. If we were to run into each other again under the same circumstances, I doubt she’d carry herself in the same manner.
Is it wishful thinking to assume that my peaceful presence could rub off on others? If not contagious, at least my presence would be known and hopefully respected.
Either way, I opt for grace.
The presence of the Lord is here.