In the early Sunday morning, I was running a long distance along the Shaker Lakes. The weather was pretty although my legs got tired after an hour run. When I was about to cross the street, two cars were passing. As usual, I slowed down and yet did not stop completely, expecting the cars pass by me and then continue to run. The first car did, but the second stopped suddenly. A woman in the car yelled at me, “F*** you, A** H***! Are you going to be hit?” She gave me a mean look and drove away. I was sure that it was the last thing I wanted to do that being hit by a car driven by a cranky woman. In that short time, I was embarrassed, confused, and insulted, not knowing how to respond to it. I just slightly smiled at her, raising my right hand as if conducting the orchestra. I wanted to show my innocence, but she was gone.
During the next an hour run, I thought the situation and what I did. It was funny first of all. On the Sunday, a priest was called by A** H*** with F bomb. Secondly, I was sorry to her whose heart would be more damaged than mine by saying those words because they did not touch me at all. It was pointless and lifeless words that I did not want to choose to keep for me. Instead, I prayed for her peace, inner peace that stays and shapes words and deeds.
St. Teresa of Avila said, “Let nothing disturb you; let nothing dismay you; all thing pass; God never changes. Patience attains all that it strives for. He who has God finds he lacks nothing; God alone suffices.” I was glad not to react out of frustration or anger. Rather, I was at peace, so that I was able to pray for her. In the end, it is a matter of choice to be real or not. I was real to be with God’s peace instead of human’s weakness. The power of choice surprised me as an unexpected gift in the early Sunday morning.