So if you are a friend on facebook, you already know I got my first speeding ticket this month. Not only that, I got two in the same week. My renagade 15 year old said, "slow down, mom." My husband said, "stay home." I said it is some kind of mistake; I bought an old drugdealers car and I am being targeted and profiled and I'm not going to take it sitting down. I called my brother, a US marshall--a guy who has to taze himself on a regular basis and has permission to drive around with a machine gun in his van. A guy who told me when he gets stopped for going 115, he tells the cops, "well I'm late cause you people keep stopping me!" So my little brother tells me, "yeah, newer black suv's with tinted windows are always a target...but you need to SLOW DOWN!!" Wow.
So, I pull into the municipal office today and park next to a kid blowing smoke rings out the window. I see his friend walking over pulling his shirt off and he is just covered in tatoos. Great, here I am, middle-aged soccer mom having to hang out with degenerates, rapists and murders. I clutched my purse to myself and practically ran to the safety of the police station. Sure enough, I forgot my check book. I figured the low-lifes would be gone. As I hurried by, I saw that degenerate #1 had traded shirts with suspect #2, and was now contemplating his tatoos in drivers seat. Oh, Lord, help me...I jumped into my car and locked it, found my check book, and pushed the door open to run back in. BEEP BEEP BEEP...I had turned the alarm on. The alarm on my car has a mind of its own and we haven't figured out what exactly causes it to go on. Or how to quickly turn it off. I just kept pushing buttons until it stopped. I heard suspect #1 say, "Lord, you bout gave me a heart attack." I went over and asked if he needed me to call an ambulence. We were both laughing by now. My new friend said, "no, but thanks very much...I hate when that happens. You really did almost give me a heart attack."
As I pulled into my second city office to take care of ticket number 2, I wondered if my degenerate, tattoo-wearing friends had to go to two offices today to take care of their business. As I walked into my second office, I could feel "defendent" written on my forehead. Funny, the lady didn't notice. We don't always wear our sins on our sleeves or chests. Sometimes, we look like an ordinary soccer mom. I wonder what God was trying to tell me with my tickets...
In Sunday's gospel reading, Jesus tells a parable about two sons. One who was immediately defiant, but ultimately conformed to his father's wishes. The second, was compliant, but never carried through. Jesus wanted us to think about who actually did what their father wanted them to do.
Sunday's Gospel is here, from EWTN:
Matthew 21: 28 - 32
28 "What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, `Son, go and work in the vineyard today.'
29 And he answered, `I will not'; but afterward he repented and went.
30 And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, `I go, sir,' but did not go.
31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.
Only God knows the heart. And we can't always know who follows the Father's will. Is it the toddler who snatched half the cookie away from a friend but intended it for another friend who had none. Is it the defiant boy who keeps his headphones half on but listens or the girl who looks like she is listening intently but is really doing her homework. Is it the middle-aged middle-class woman who looks like she has it all together but is really flaunting the rules because she doesn't think they apply to her. There is a difference between being polite and being right. Between being socially acceptable and following the rules. Sometimes, the soccer mom really is the defendent...
Lord, I don't like people to judge me or my loved ones. Please help me to always look beyond the exterior and at least get a glimpse of what is underneath before I make assesments. Remind me gently to not judge but to always treat everyone as I would like to be treated myself...amen.