As I came over the hill, I quickly approached the car in front of me. They were driving very slowly in the right lane, but had their left blinker on. I slowed my pace, offering them the opportunity to change lanes. No movement. Just 20 mph in the right lane with the left turn signal steadily blinking.
Exasperated with their miscommunication and annoyed by the apparent squandering of my patience and generosity, I jerked over to the left lane and passed them ... and passed judgement like a jerk.
"What in the world? Decide what you want to do! Learn how to drive or get out of my way...grumble rarr."
As I rolled my eyes and glared into my rear view mirror, I was sobered by what I saw.
From the front of the car, I could tell they actually had their hazard flashers on. So apparently, their rear right turn indicator was non-functional. They were driving slowly with hazards on which is not only acceptable, but perfectly logical and appropriate. But this was not the conclusion to which I had jumped from behind them.
What's the moral of the story?
I can really put the "jerk" in "knee-jerk" reactions.
When folks in our lives seem to be in the way or causing trouble, or when people don't make a lot of sense, and our attempts to offer them solutions fail, we should just be patient. Be kind and don't judge. It could be that from a different vantage, we might realize they are in crisis and dealing with some brokenness.
Everyone has hurts and habits and hang-ups. Some just aren't ready, or don't know how to fully communicate it. We all need love. Period.