Coffee Convictions

One day, I had to run by the bank. There was only one other car in the drive-thru in the farthest lane from the teller. I pulled right up to the spot next to the window. The teller never even looked up. I thought, surely she can see me, but she just continued to count her money. I watched the other car leave, and another car pull up. I sighed and thought, any minute now. That car left, and I began to feel hives breaking out on my neck.

Finally, she looked up and said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”

Yeah, uh huh, sure, I thought. She opened the tray, and I placed my deposit in the tray, and she pulled it back in. My jaw sagged open as I watched her walk away from the window without my deposit. The third car drove away, replaced by the fourth car. I swear you could have seen smoke coming out of my ears. She came back to the window, and still did not take my deposit out of the tray! She proceeded to count some more money. By then the other teller servicing her FIFTH car, looked at me quizzically. After a few more minutes she finally took my deposit. As she placed my receipt into the tray, I had reached my boiling point. I violently grabbed the receipt out of the tray squishing it into a wad, as if it was her head, and hit the gas of my minivan as hard as I could. Apparently not just muscle cars can do burn outs. Yes, I know. A Christian testimony at its finest. I may have not said a word, but I made sure that I made a point.

Now, I don’t always do burn-outs and lose my temper. My cousin watched my children for me one day while I went to a lunch meeting. To thank her, I went by Starbucks to get her a drink. I thought I remembered that she didn’t like coffee, so I ordered a caramel, apple cider. I pulled up to the window, and the cashier informed me that they were out of apple cider. I said that it was okay, and changed my order to a mocha. As I handed my credit card to the cashier, she handed me a coupon.

“This is good for a free drink on us, any time you want it. You would not believe how many people have yelled at us today.”

Can you imagine that? The nerve of those impatient people. I was the epitome of a sweet Christian girl and even had a free drink coupon to prove it.

The day I decided to use my coupon, was the same day God decided it was time for me to learn a lesson. I pulled up and ordered my favorite: a venti, non-fat, peppermint mocha, with whip cream. I know that the whip cream cancels out the non-fat part, but it makes me feel skinnier. As I pulled up to the window, I handed the cashier my little gift card.

She said, “Oh, that’s nice.”

The manager peeked her head out, and said, “Oh, I remember this lady. She was so sweet. We had run out of apple cider, and she said it was not a big deal and changed her order. We had been yelled at all day.”

I flashed my dazzling white smile, and nodded my head like a queen. Yes, I was a walking example of Christianity. As I pulled out from the drive thru, I heard the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit, “Too bad they didn’t see you at the drive thru at the bank the other day.” I proceeded to choke on my venti, non-fat, peppermint mocha with whip cream.

“Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.” Romans 2:2 (MSG)

Here’s the bottom line. I am a sinner saved by grace. I am not better than anyone else. I fail. I can be quite forgetful. I’m a musician and have played for many weddings and funerals. On a Friday night, I showed up for a wedding rehearsal. I was to be the lone musician – a one woman band. The next day, I was at my son’s soccer game when a look of horror came over my face. I had forgot the wedding. To make it even worse, they had paid me for it. I ruined their day. So, who am I to judge a bank teller? How do I know she really didn’t see me?

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.” Matthew 7:1 (MSG)

By Michelle Rocker

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