The Army Sargent
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
I stood there frozen trying not to let him see me shaking. His finger was inches from my face and profanity was spewing in anger filled curses. I held the warranty in my trembling hand. A couple of months earlier his mechanic had rebuilt the transmission in my car. Each time I returned to the shop to inquire about the strange surging they insisted that it wasn’t the transmission and said I needed various other repairs which I did, every one of them, and it all had cost me hundreds of dollars more.
I tried not to be intimidated but I had to admit that the army fatigues, the pointing finger and the profanity were quite effective. I imagined he got little push-back from the reserves under his tutelage. All the while he was yelling I was praying. He knew I was a Christian and I didn’t want to soil my witness with him and his mechanic. I knew I had to show kindness and love just like Christ has done for me. Still, I just wanted the transmission fixed.
Three days later I was back at the shop. Turns out the whole trouble was caused by a Teflon ring about the size of a milk jug cap. I thanked them kindly for finally doing the right thing.
Amazingly the shop owner met me to let me know he was sorry for his explosion and for the way he treated me and even made reference to my faith. The whole thing actually opened up an opportunity to share Christ’s love with him.
I can’t help but think of Jesus’ words from the cross as He asked His Father to forgive those who were persecuting Him. His words ring true today, “They do not know what they are doing.”
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.