Today, Ashley and I endured the shaming of an older woman driving in our neighborhood who tired to prove to us we were wrong to drive down the street without stopping at the intersection at the end of our street. She frowned and gestured wildly to let us know how wrong we were. Shame, shame, shame! How dare you drive into this intersection in front of me! It’s my turn!
But it wasn’t her turn. We’ve lived here since 2007. There’s no stop sign at the intersection for cars on our street. It’s a two-way, not a four-way stop. Cars on our street keep going. The stop sign was for her, not us. We tried to point to the lack of a stop sign to prove our point, but she sped away, angry and sullen and shaming us still.
Would she drive down that road later and see her mistake? Would she ever realize? Would she think back and wonder why she had been so angry for no reason?
I also wondered about how bad it felt to have another person shaking their fist at us when we knew we had done nothing wrong. Even when you know you’re right, it feels bad. It makes you feel accused and ashamed. You have to remind yourself, “No, we’re not wrong here. We haven’t done anything wrong.” I remembered how so many voices in the culture try to accuse and shame others. I remembered how Satan is the accuser and acts much like that woman in the car who spouted out inaccurate accusations. And I remembered how, if I’m ever tempted to point out someone else’s mistake, I might stop, look around, and make sure I’m not the one in the wrong.
I wish the woman had just looked around her. I wish it wouldn’t have impacted me so much to see her anger even though I knew we had done nothing wrong.
We drove on. The moment lingered.