May 01, 2013"Respect due? Respect do! "
I just returned from a road trip to northern California with my parents, with our last stop being in Monterey. The next morning, while having breakfast in the little dining area, my almost 90-year-old dad had the audacity to get, briefly, in the way of some …..(bear with me, I'm searching for an "acceptable" term here), okay, let's go with "self-centered man" (SCM). Upon my dad noticing his egregious mistake, he readily apologized and almost fell trying to get out of the SCM's way. Whereupon the SCM rolled his eyes and made a facial expression indicating the huge burden of having to deal with (ugh) elderly people, who just seem to get in your way, especially when you have a date with a donut.
Thankfully, my dad did not see the SCM's facial expressions, but his oh-so-protective daughter did. And if you had been there, and looked closely, you would have seen the "visitors" sitting on my shoulders. The little devil was egging me on to go over and slap the snot out of him. The little angel was begging me to show some restraint.
My dad just happened to be wearing his World War II Veteran's cap (which we have to encourage him to wear as he's not one to draw attention to himself). Mustering all the good will that I could manage, and swallowing some bile (and, no, that's not what I had eaten for breakfast) I walked over and told the SCM, "It's really nice when we can show some respect to our veterans."
The ironic thing is he looked as though I actually "had" slapped him. Not because he was contrite, but because he couldn't believe his actions had consequences, he was that self-absorbed! I could have gone on and told him that if it weren't for "useless" old people like my dad, he would be speaking German. But the sad truth is that I could have talked about what a wonderful, loving, caring, generous Christian man my dad is until I was blue in the face and the SCM would not have gotten it.
Another ironic part of this story is that we had stopped for gas the day before and a man, who looked like someone you would hate to meet alone on a dark street, came up to my dad, gently touched his arm, and said, "Thank you for your service."
So I was thinking…..
How proud and thankful I am to live in Valley Center, where we value our elderly and treasure our veterans!
Also, at the risk of sounding trite, I was reminded, again, how we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. I discovered that under the cover of "yuckiness" beat a thankful heart, while under the cover of "yuppieness" beat a selfish heart. Thank God that He can change a heart, and I pray for the SCM who disrespected my dad. However, if anything like that ever happens again, I may have to enlist a "Valley Center Posse" to set someone on the straight and narrow. Any volunteers?
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5-7
©2013 Phyllis Knight