God’s Crazy Sense of Humor
Hey David, I’d like you to come over here and meet a friend of mine!
There she was…sitting by the president of my college. An unusual moment was about to unfold—but first, let me tell you about the events leading up to this moment.
The Day Before
I was attending an event at a local college when across the room I noticed a politician working the crowd and shaking as many hands as she could. This young woman was a political hopeful and I had seen her advertisements on television many times. To be honest, I didn’t like her. Though I didn’t know her personally, something about those ads triggered a cynicism that she was just another rich Oklahoman who hoped to buy their way into political office–not that that ever happens!
She was working her way methodically across the room and I began to feel uncomfortable thinking that I might have to shake her hand. I began thinking to myself, If she comes over here I will refuse to shake her hand.
In my mind I imagined myself getting out of my seat and walking away. Alternatively, I imagined myself folding my arms and making my hands unavailable. I also imagined myself confronting her in front of all these people about her points of view. I would never have done the last thing–but it gave me a kind of comfort to think that I might.
Fortunately, the lecture began and everybody began to sit down. After the speech was over I left and never gave the politician another thought.
Not so fast! The Next Day
The next morning I arrived at Starbucks, as I always do before work, to drink some coffee and eat a pastry in silence. This morning though, the president of my college was there and visiting with someone. As I looked more carefully—I saw that it was the politician from the day before! No worries, I thought, I’ll just walk to the counter, order, and slip out unnoticed.
It was too late! The president’s eyes met mine. He smiled broadly, as he always does, and said, * Hey David, I’d like you to come over here and meet a friend of mine!* I walked over and he said, * Do you know Patsy?*
I turned towards Patsy and said, * I’ve never met you in person but I feel as though I know you because I’ve seen so many of your television commercials.*
The president then went on to explain that Patsy was a member of our church and a former graduate of the university. As he continued speaking I realized the irony of discovering that I had something in common with a person I did not want to like.
And then I did what I swore I would not do the day before. I gave my best smile and offered my hand to the politician and said,* It’s very nice to meet you.*
Tail Between My Legs
I left shortly thereafter so that the two of them could continue talking and I instantly knew that God was behind all of this. It would be just like the God I love to hear my foolish thoughts the day before and to arrange a moment of truth where my petty attitudes could be seen for what they were. In my heart I had placed personal prejudices above simple human decency. For what could be more decent than to offer everyone you meet a smile, a handshake, and best wishes?
(Click here to watch a short video)