A harsh, "Shhhhhh!" broke into my bubble and I turned to see a lady, who'd also been perusing the books, frowning at me. She said in a stern voice, "You're not supposed to be talking on a cell phone in the library!"
I'd like to say that I immediately apologized and hung up. Maybe it's part of my independent, first-born nature, but I don't like to be told what to do. So I continued my phone call, while thinking a few ungodly things about that woman.
I spoke to my friend for another minute before I heard God firmly clear his throat, "If the library rules are . . . " I grumbled back at Him, "All right, all right," and got off the phone.
I had a wave of God's nature sweep across me at that moment, as if he'd sprinkled some Holy Spirit love over me, because I had a sudden urge to apologize to the woman.
I went up to her and with genuine warmth (see how I know it was God) and apologized for talking on the phone. I explained that I hadn't known about the library's rule, gave her a kind smile and walked away.
About five minutes later, the woman came up and softly said, "I'm sorry I spoke to you so angrily." She went on to explain her frustration with the teenagers who frequent the library and are constantly on their phones.
I stood there with my mouth on the floor.
I know a gentle answer turns away wrath, but that's just a proverb. I didn't know it actually worked (okay, I'm being a bit facetious here). Isn't that the coolest? I got to be Jesus to her—and the amazing thing is Jesus let me even after my grumbling, rebellious attitude.
See, God can use anyone. Even an independent, first-born!