Years back, when B was a student in his last gasp of community college, he was driving through one of the crowded campus parking lots waiting for a spot to open up. In the end he decided to just double-park our old red 1970 VW, 'Gunter', and wait for a student to leave. He waited in Gunter for a while, reading in the warm October sun until someone started to pull out. As soon as the car had backed out, another car zipped in and parked. A young woman in her early twenties got out and started to hurry away.
"Hey!" B called out the window, "I've been waiting for that spot for 20 minutes!" The girl looked at him and said, semi-indignantly, "Are you going to make a big deal out of this?"
To which B replied, "It just reflects poorly on you as a person!"
She paused a moment, and then huffed her shoulders, flounced back to her car, and pulled out.
No Esprit De L'escalier Here
I've always loved this story, for many reasons. It's funny that B pulled this out of his bag of retorts at that moment-it sounds like something that would go on a report card, like "You just don't apply yourself!" or "You lack follow-through!" What's even funnier is that it worked.
And there's more here too, about the dignity of being a person, an image-bearer of a holy (wholly-other) God. We do much to mar that divine image, small mean actions as well as global atrocities, and it's hard to respond with love to people whose resemblance to their Maker is fuzzy at best. And I think conscience does a lot to remind us to scrub our faces, as it were, in order to see in the mirror a reflection of the Creator (which is why that woman responded as she did.)
Up With Everyone, Not Just the Beautiful People; (Or: We're All Beautiful People)
When Jesus said, "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another"he was giving us a holy charge-that we must continue to believe that the image is still there, under all that tarnish, loving each other, being 'Up With People' as the Elevens would say, believing that God is working out the details in all of us......
And I believe one of the reasons he calls us into a closer walk with His Son is so some of His goodness can 'reflect back on us as people'. Let it be so!
(Thanks to krazymalay for his beautiful pic. It makes me miss Gunter; he was a such good little car. RIP!