Church leaders are supposed to be upright, godly, and show a good attitude toward all. But today I yelled at the lady on the phone. No, it wasn't a telemarketer calling at a bad time and refusing to stop even though I said I wasn't interested. Nor was it a rude crank caller mouthing me for no good reason. Sadly, it was a nice, polite woman just doing her job.
I was paying bills and tried to set up internet banking on one of my wife's credit cards. I usually pay by check, but I was afraid this one might not make it on time, and I hate late charges. The front of the bill said it could be paid at their website. So I logged on and began the process of setting things up.
Then it happened. I got to a page where it asked for a phone number to send a text message to in order to complete that part of the process. I entered the number as asked, and it sent me back to a previous page. I tried again--same thing. I tried again--same thing. I tried again--well you get the idea. The website had a number to call if you were having trouble. I gave it a call and the recording began asking about loans and other non applicable things. I pushed the wrong button.
After a bit I hung up and tried again. I finally got through to a human. It was the nice lady previously mentioned. I told her the problem and she began to work through things. I was hoping to be through soon--writing a check would have been so much faster. Then it happened. She informed me she could not proceed without talking to my wife (the card is in her name). Was my wife at home so she could speak to her? NO! NO! NO! I yelled in great frustration. My wife was not at home and all I wanted to do was give them some money.
She quietly, politely, but with obvious constraint in her voice told me I could make a payment by phone. I had not used that option because many of the credit card companies charge a fee to pay by phone--bout as well get a late charge. I told her that would be fine, she transferred me and I finished things up.
As I hung up the phone I knew I had once again failed my Lord. Not that this poor lady doesn't get irritated phone callers everyday. I know it's a regular part of her job. I used to get the same thing when I worked at Walmart. Angry people with red faces yelling at you for things you could not help. But this time I was the person acting the fool. It wasn't just some random stranger--it was a supposed man of God.
I sat back down at the table to finish the bills. I said something to my 20 year old daughter who was in the other room about it and she laughed at the old man. Our kids know our faults anyway, but I still don't like them to see my wicked side.
How I wish I could talk to the lady on the phone again and tell her how sorry I am and ask for her forgiveness. But even if I call that company dozens of times, I likely will never speak with her again. So I am left with this heavy feeling in my heart. That is not a bad thing for we should feel bad when we do wrong.
But for those of you who read my blog who are not yourselves church leaders, I wrote this post for you. I want you to see your pastor, your deacons, your ministry leaders in me. That is, they too will fail. They are not perfect, only Jesus is. Don't be shocked when they fall short of the standards they themselves espouse. Pray for them and love them. And while you're at it, remember to pray for the ones they have wronged. Pray for their "lady on the phone."
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