There are reminders everywhere that I am in an area of the United States where there is a strong Christian base. Unfortunately, I don't pick this up because people are kinder, drivers are nicer, respect is everywhere. Oddly, one often gets cut off while driving by someone with a sticker of a small child praying at the foot of a cross. The name of Jesus is everywhere on bumper stickers - which is cool, everyone has a right to proclaim their faith.
And it's a big but.
I was rolling my wheelchair down the lane at King Sooper's grocery store and a woman approached me, her husband blushing behind her, and told me that she would be praying for me. Then she offered to 'lay hands' on me right there in the store and ask for Jesus' forgiveness.
And I went in to get raspberries, not tales of ressurection.
I thanked her and told her that there were others more in need of prayer than I was. That my life was fine. "Do you know Jesus, then?" She asked. Her husband looked at me with apology in his eyes.
"Yes, I do," I said.
"Really, and you're still crippled."
Now I was mad. I asked her to please leave me alone and that, when I got over my anger, I would pray for her. She looked confused. "My body is in a wheelchair," I said, "but my soul is free - it's the opposite for you."
That took her a moment.
"How dare you," she blustered.
"Well, how dare you," I returned.
"Come on dear," her husband pulled at her arm.
"At least I can walk," she spat at me. Spat!
"At least I am happy," I responded rising to the fight.
She was gone around the end of the aisle and I was left with my heart racing, tears in my eyes and guilt flowing through me. I don't know how to handle these situations.
Its a day later that I'm writing this and I still get tears in my eyes thinking of her assumption that my faith was invalid, that I was invalid, that I needed her prayers - as if God could not love me without her begging for me.
So, I did pray.
And asked God to forgive me my temper and my quick tongue.
And later, prayed again and thanked God for my temper and my quick tongue.
I think the last one was more honest.