Yesterday on my way home from work and picking up the girls, I got pulled over.
Why is it that cops and policemen are our best friends when we are in danger, but when we are the ones getting caught we turn them into the enemy?
Or is this just me?
Ugh. It was so ugly. It was 108 degrees here in Saint Louis yesterday. For the first time in a long while, we got a glimpse of what many in the South (including my family in Texas) have been facing for several summers now.
Extreme heat and brutal drought.
But if I'm honest, I know I cannot use that as my excuse.
I wasn't speeding. I was distracted.
So I got a citation for failing to get into the other lane when passing the cop car who had someone pulled over.
All of my nasty inside yuck came out when he was writing me the $77 ticket.
A feeling of shame washed over me.
The kind where your cheeks start to burn and your tummy feels sick inside.
I was embarrassed, humiliated and felt completely out of control.
As he was giving me back my insurance and license, Evie called out from the back seat, "Mom, are you going to jail?"
He didn't laugh.
Oh great, I thought. He probably thinks I get pulled over ALL of the time.
More shame. More redness. More ugly.
As I drove away from the scene with my nice yellow piece of paper in hand, I tried to rationalize that it wasn't that big of a deal.
But guess what? As minor as the incident was, I allowed it to ruin my day.
I came home grumpy. I vented to my friends. I refused to cook my family dinner. (Well, okay. By 8 p.m. I did cave in and break out a box of Kraft macaroni for the kids).
I pouted and got defensive and just really mad about the whole thing.
I drank a beer. Then I decided that wasn't helpful so I went to workout in the basement for an hour.
(In the future I shall remember drinking 12 ounces of alcohol is not a good idea before sweating one's behind off in cardio. Reverse the order, Laurie).
However, today is a new day. And I realize that this police officer was just doing his job. He didn't intend to shame me, he just exposed my wrong doing.
And ignorance of the law is still my responsibility.
Distraction and absentmindedness don't bode well when driving a vehicle on the highway.
Sigh. Responsibility sometimes hurts.
Thank you, God, for my much needed dose of humility. Please shower me with LOTS of Your mercy. Because only Your grace can cover shame.