So, I'm taking a walk down Broad Street last week and, just as I pass a man who is headed into Starbuck's, he spits and just barely misses me. I don't say or do anything but then it happens again and this time, he just misses my shoe. So I turn around to see who the manner-less cretin is and he blasts me with a barrage of racist and vile obscenities. He finishes his tirade by calling me a piece of trash who thinks they're better than everyone else. I glared at him, but I concluded all the bulbs on his strand weren't lit, and I moved on. A day later, in almost the exact same spot, again someone nearly spits on me. This time it's a young man and upon realizing how close he came to spitting on me, he issued a profuse apology. A few days after that, I'm closer to home, on 11th Street, and lo and behold, I encounter another spitter, this time issuing no apology but no tirade either.
This next story, however, is the icing on the cake. About a block from home this evening, I heard a window slam shut about 3 stories above me and the lit cigarette someone tossed out of it barely missed the top of my head. I stopped and stared upward to see who the offending party was, but they did not make themselves known.
I remember reading in a little Adoration booklet once that we will never know Jesus until we've been spat upon and cursed at. I'm not quite sure my experiences were what this author had in mind. However, when I look back at myself about five years ago, I can see that these minor annoyances are God's way of testing me, because I would never have just walked away from such blatant disrespect. Now, it bothers me, but not enough to lower myself to respond in kind. And not so much that I don't remember to pray for the conversion of the offending person.