(disclaimer: I am not perfect. Often I am hard-headed and hell bent on serving justice. Clearly, not my job in this world. So, when you read the following story and find yourself disappointed in my actions... well, just remember, it is my endeavor to be honest. And, yep, that's all I have to say for myself.)
I met Elda. Her story is intense and heart-breaking. I barely had the energy to take it all in, so it will take me a few days to get it all back out to you. Hers is a story of tragedy, suffering, bravery, jail, rape, the fierce love of a mother, the deep desire of a father who wants his family name to carry honor, betrayal, secrets, and disappointment. You couldn't make this story up if you tried. And right now there is no happy ending... only hope that God can redeem all things. And we never lose sight of hope. We never stop believing the impossible can happen. We never give up on a miracle. We hope.
After my friend Becca and I sat with this very broken lady, we went to lunch at a local girly bakery. We were hungry. And a little pooped from crying, listening, and praying with this sweet lady.
There were no parking spots. We circled the lot. There was a tired baby. My friend, a recently-self-inflicted-unemployed-very free-woman next to me in the passenger seat and an agitated driver (that was me). The world felt wrong and nasty. There was Elda. Then there were all these people living like nothing was wrong. It was 99 degrees. And I was hungry. We circled the building again. And that's when I saw people passing up an open space.
And y'all... right there in front of the building and all God's people there was a Lexus double parked.
Double parked? On a day like today? When there are people hurting in the world? And there are two hungry girls, with a baby, and heavy hearts? In Texas, on a 99 degree summer day? Really?
That Lexus messed with the wrong girl.
My anger at the world's brokenness came oozing out and I glared that Lexus down. Bad, mean Lexus. My dissatisfaction with our society spewed out upon this tacky-butt, selfish Lexus. And, I swear I have never done it before (oh, but I have dreamed about it)...
I squeezed my mammoth car in between the Lexus and the car to the right (of course leaving plenty of room for the people on the right hand side), I crawled across the passenger seat, got my baby, and my friend, and we went and had a lovely lunch.
This was a moment of triumph for all the little people.
I watched all through lunch to see if the owner would show up. They did not. Justice is never as sweet as I plan for it to be. In fact, the quest for justice really just damages me. I know this. That is why it's God's job and not mine. If it were mine I'd spend most of my life writing speeding tickets, making citizen arrests every time I have to see a man bend over who moons me with his blessed crack, and making mean people leave all public gathering places with tape across their mouths.
Yikes, I sound vile tonight.
Anyways, the owner never showed and I crawled back across the passenger seat and we headed home laughing at my passive aggressive dig at the world.
Sometimes you need to hit a punching bag. Go for a run. Scream into your pillow. Eat ice cream. Or go sit in your closet and cry.
But sometimes you just need to feel like you have the power to teach the world a lesson. To make a point. To reclaim justice. (And I know dad, this might get me killed.) (And I know disapproving reader, this approach lacks much grace.)
Sometimes you need to squeeze your car in by the person who double parked.