Today I was impatient and snappy with my Nigerien colleagues in the hospital. I responded in anger when things didn't happen as quickly or efficiently as I had hoped. My tone and words were anything but kind to my patients' families when they complained about the heat and long wait for dressing changes.
And I blamed them for my irritability. I said that today I hated this culture. And I wanted to leave. And that my desire to throw my hands in the air and quit was their fault. And I angrily judged my Christian Nigerien friends and hated the men of this culture for their pride and attitudes toward women . . . and . . . and it was all because I'm tired and cranky and hot and . . . .
NO IT WASN'T!
It was because I'm a hypocrite.
As we sat in church tonight (the one in English . . . with my fellow ex-pats) I felt like my insides were going to burst. I struggled to pay attention (despite knowing I really needed to hear what was being said) because I knew what was inside was wrong.
I say that I love . . . but today, my actions did NOT show it.
As a disciple of Jesus I've been called to love. To love my neighbor as myself. To love 'one another'. To love my enemies. We've been told that the world will know . . . sans question . . . that we are His disciples by the way we love.
But today, I failed the test. If anyone had looked at me today they would have said 'There's no Jesus in that chick. She loves like the world . . . only when it benefits her.'
And when is that okay? NEVER.
There is no clause in the Discipleship Code that says 'Hey girl, don't worry, somedays you're going to be tired and cranky and hot, but you get a day off each week. You can be mean and nasty and hateful in your heart because, after all, you're only human! So give yourself a break and let sin reign . . . the Holy Spirit understands when you put yourself back on the throne! Besides, you moved to Africa, for goodness sakes! What more could He want out of you!!'
The gross reality is that's what I've been telling myself! 'It's okay . . . you're just hot and tired. You'll love again tomorrow!' BUT I KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE! If left up to myself, I'm going to just keep on stewing and brewing in hypocrisy . . . pretending that my actions of mercy substitute for a disgruntled, unkind, impatient heart.
No. Christ gave His life so that I would be made new. That I would be transformed from something rotting in death to blossoming in life. But my attitude today is not that of a soul redeemed.
Dear Jesus, please . . . PLEASE forgive me! And please . . . PLEASE help me to love without reserve or condition or fatigue. Please replace my anger with patience and my judgement with mercy. Please transform me!! Because I can't do it. You have to!