Have you ever wanted to lash out to a complete stranger? It can be hard at times not to, but thankfully this is one time when I know God’s grace rewarded me with love and joy!
On Tuesday night’s I enjoy a water aerobics class. Last week as I was walking into class I heard a lady (I will call her Bonnie) asks for instructions to the class. In an effort to be friendly I volunteered to take Bonnie back to the locker room and walk with her to the pool. I even offered to coach her a little bit with the routines.
The music started and Bonnie kept splashing me. I smiled and thought surely this is going to stop soon. To get out of the splash zone I moved up out of her way. Things were going much better, or so I thought. In her excitement she pushed the water at me with both hands, knocking me off my feet. I went down under water. When I came up, I realized she had no idea what happened so I let it go.
A few songs later we were floating on our backs and working our stomach muscles. Next thing I knew, Bonnie scissored me and pushed me under the water again. When I came back up she quickly apologized and went on with her splashing.
I was so mad. But it was obvious to me that Bonnie was having a fun time and did not realize she was ruining my class. I simply could not say anything and ruin the class for her too.
After class, I was visiting with the instructor and Bonnie put her arm around my neck and gave me a hug. She thanked both the instructor and me for helping her have such a great time. She told us she had just had knee replacement surgery and this was the first exercise class she had taken. She was afraid of trying something new and hurting herself.
Bonnie left the pool with a huge smile on her face and, guess what, I had a huge smile on my face, too. Her joy was contagious, and I felt better knowing I made a difference in her day.
I think God nudged me that day in water aerobics. I could have been mean and ruined Bonnie’s good time. Instead I chose not to. I feel like my reward was greater than I could have ever hoped for. I experienced Bonnie’s joy and love.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (Jn 13:34)