We often get into situations that are not one bit humorous--until we look back at them as if we were watching a movie. Then we can see the humor in the situation.
For several years I directed Secret Pals at my home church. It was a program of women encouraging other women while remaining anonymous until the end of the year when we revealed our secret pals and drew names again. It was a tremendous blessing and a lot of fun. One year my secret pal was the only one to remember my birthday. My mother, husband, both sisters, and children all forgot. Talk about feeling wanted.
I was bestowed the directorship because I had a good suggestion on improving the program--be careful about opening your mouth. The group liked my suggestion so much they voted me the new director. My suggestion was that each woman complete a postcard with her secret pal's birthday or anniversary and then address it to herself. Then at the beginning of the month, I'd mail the postcards to everyone whose secret pal had a birthday or anniversary that month. Each month I mailed from five to ten reminder cards. It was simple, quick, and a great way to keep track of the dates.
Because I mailed these each month, I knew who had a birthday or anniversary and whose secret pal had a birthday or anniversary. On Sunday morning the week after Christmas Jessica (Not real name) walked up to me with anger absolutely oozing from every pour in her face. She yelled, "I want to talk to you." That wasn't question or a request. It was a demand. So I stopped and listened as she spit out the words, "My birthday was three days ago and I didn't get anything from my secret pal."
"Well, Jessica" I said. "Maybe she is out of town for Christmas or something."
"Then she should have thought of that before she left town."
"Maybe she is busy with Christmas. Did you receive something for Christmas from her?"
"Yes, but nothing for my birthday."
Then I remembered mailing a card to Jessica for her secret pal. "Your secret pal has a birthday this week also. Did you take care of her?"
"LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING. I DIDN'T HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY MY SECRET PAL A BIRTHDAY GIFT SO SOON AFTER CHRISTMAS." She yelled loud enough to draw attention from the crowd.
"Well maybe your secret pal is in the same shape. Maybe she is low on cash also."
At that point she pivoted on one foot and her short, but well endowed, body thundered out of the church much like tyrannosaurus rex. Apparently my answer was not appropriate. I guess I was expected to immediately go to her secret pal and severely reprimand her for her careless and callous behavior. At the same time I was supposed to take pity on Jessica because she didn't have the money to do something for her secret pal.
Isn't it strange how we can see a particular situation as a fault in others and expect others to see it as a dilemma for us? I have never forgotten Jessica's temper tantrum and lack of compassion for another woman who was very likely in the same situation as herself. We have so much to learn as we try to walk with God. Thankfully he is more patient than we are.