Why am I inconvenienced?

This past week I heard these same lyrics in two different songs, “Let me see more of you and less of me,” John 3:30.  OK Lord, what are you trying to tell me?

I am made in the image of God; God lives (abides) in me with every breath I take.  I’m not the only one made in God’s image, but a part of all creation.  Yes, including the people who “work my last nerve.”  I’m called to honor and respect God’s image in each of them; after all Jesus washed Judas’ feet.

My main mode of transportation in Chicago is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) transportation.  It’s a shared ride system which means clients are picked up and dropped off who are ideally traveling in the same direction.   The smallest miscommunication with the reservationist can send me on an unexpected and undesired tour of Chicagoland.  I’m not sure why my rides are so often confused, but they are (I’ll spare you the details).  I wonder if the staff lack proper training or do they have the adequate skill set for the task, or perhaps I’m not clear with my request.  One thing I know for sure is most of the staff are possessed with a non customer service oriented attitude.  And to be honest, the way the talk to each other is not very respectful, not to mention when the clients get involved in the conversation.  Rides often resemble a bad soap opera!

So I started thinking about John 3:30, “See more of you and less of me” – I need to show the same respect for them as I would for a person who does their job well.  Do they deserve it – NO!  But then I don’t deserve the unconditional love and grace God bestows on me daily.  I don’t know their context: care for dependent children or elderly parents; trying to “make-ends-meet” with the short rope of low income; juggling multiple jobs; maybe they feel “up will always seem like down.”  How can I show the love of God?  I must admit I get short tempered with and judgmental of these folks because I’m inconvenienced on a consistent basis .  So I have to remember that these people too are made in the image of God and I’m must treat them as brothers and sisters in Christ.

If I’m going to be a chaplain, I don’t think I get to choose when and where.  I don’t think I can be “on” all the time, but just giving them the benefit of the doubt and showing a little grace can help them see there is an “upside” to life.  Had I not been inconvenienced, their need for grace would not have been laid on my heart.  It reminds me that I am called to have the heart of a servant for everyone, most especially for those who provide a service for me.

I’m sure I will continue to be inconvenienced.  But then God continues to love me and forgive me on a regular basis.  Although I’m not God, I’m made in God’s image and should reflect God’s love.  So I pray for the wisdom to understand that every inconvenience is an opportunity to reflect the grace of God by seeing more of God in others and less of my judgmental view.

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One Response to Why am I inconvenienced?

  1. Cori Olson says:

    Greetings Toni! Thank you for sharing this. You wrote it in such a way that I could feel your frustration. I felt the injustice of it to you even while you deal with the injustice of the drivers. It is the hardest thing not to lash out at the others who are victims of the systems; the waiter, the driver, the customer service person on the phone often as much victims as the people using the system. But you’re quite right about showing grace, mercy, and love. You are also quite right about how very hard it can be. Blessing on you as you try.


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