"Look Good, Feel Good," was the class I had signed up for at the cancer center. There would be instruction on nutrition as well as how to take care of your skin and hairless head. The session was to include a free bag of make-up and a free wig, which was somewhat funny to me. My main objective in wanting to attend was to connect with other women going through chemo- see what their experience had been. You might say I was into it for the support and encouragement.
As my friend and I walked in, I had one of those de-ja-vu moments. You see, the last time we came to the center, we had an emotional, somewhat embarrassing encounter. We were standing there, having completely interrupted a family counseling class, only to have the receptionist apologizing that they had incorrectly written down our appointment time. We would have to come back later. I cried, feeling terrible that Eddie had taken time off work, and my friend had rearranged her schedule to drive over to meet us.
Well, the de-ja-vu feeling was justified. The guest speaker welcomed me, then abruptly turned to my friend and dismissed her. She was not welcome in the class under any circumstances, and needed to leave. The woman would not budge on her position even though I was explaining we had been told friends were welcome. The director of the center was mortified. She knew this woman was out of line, but wasn't sure how to handle it with the class minutes away from starting.
I made the decision to leave with my friend, under much protesting from her. She could hardly handle the idea that I was going to miss out on all the free stuff. I assured her that I was fine… there was no way I could sit under the teaching of an individual who had come across so uncaring.
The confrontation has proven to be such a great reminder to live a grace-filled life. I'm sure there is some kind of rule stating no friends allowed (that seems silly) and the instructor took it to the extreme. She was choosing to enforce the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law. I'm also hoping she didn't mean to convey such a harsh message. Her legalistic side perhaps rose to the surface more quickly than grace.
While I could rant and rave about her actions, I'm choosing instead to learn from them. I know I'm not the most gracious person at times. Truth is… I like rules. They provide boundaries, and I function quite well with specific guidelines. Maybe the idea of offering grace when others are operating outside of the set limit is something God wants to develop in me. And… just maybe, it begins at home with my husband and kids.
Matthew 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy." (That's pretty straightforward).
I Thessalonians 3:12 "May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you."
2 Peter 3:18 "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
I didn't attend the class that day, but I do realize I have received a very special gift. It's called grace. Now that's something to make me look good, feel good!