When Someone Hurts You

Earlier this week, I almost hit someone with my car.

An older woman was walking through the parking lot while I was driving down the lane to leave. I saw her, walking along the right side of the two rows of parked cars. All of a sudden, she turned to her left and walked out in front of me, leaving me just enough room to swerve a bit and slam on my brakes.

"If looks could kill" isn't just a figure of speech - I should be dead right now.

She then proceeded to - and I'm not joking here - slap the hood of my car with her hand. Then she shouted some very not-nice things in my general direction. I had cracked my window because it was such a nice day, but I very quickly rolled it up all the way.

She stormed off toward her car, which was apparently on the opposite side from where she had been walking, leaving me heartbroken. I just wanted to get out of there and go home, but I still had another stop to make. So I sat in that parking lot, bawling like an absolute baby. That made me feel better, as did talking to my husband. I went on with my day, but that woman's anger bothered me for ages.

When I explained what happened to a co-worker later, this is what he told me:

You realize there are three types of people in this world. One doesn't have any clue of the effect their words and actions have on other people. The second knows their effect but doesn't care. The third knows the power of words and actions and does everything possible to make them have positive effects.

It's easy to make excuses and say she must have been having a bad day. We all have them. But those excuses aren't going to cure broken hearts or soothe a troubled soul. The consequence for words and actions lasts longer than an apology or the moment that it happened in.

When someone hurts you, intentionally or not, there is a chain reaction in the soul. Do you take that anger and pass it on for the rest of the day, brooding in your self-pity? Do you squash it down and pretend like it never happened, forgetting how terrible those feelings are? Or do you lay it all at the foot of the cross, pray for healing and forgiveness and work hard to keep from making someone else feel the way you do?

Hurt is inevitable when you're human, but passing it on is a choice.

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