I saw the water in my glass ripple again and again before I heard her approaching steps. Her stomping confirmed what I already knew, she had to stay late tonight and was mad as hell about it. The door swung open, and a gale-force blast of air sent papers from the desk to the floor. Spit-splattered F-bombs filled the air with their overwhelming presence. Somehow, the violence in her attitude made my friend seem larger than usual.  Notepads and books slammed down on the desk as she dropped into her office chair.

She wouldn’t even look at me.

Desk drawers flew open and slammed shut. The swearing and muttering continued. Finally, a bottle of pills appeared in one tiny little hand. The other clawed the lid off. She rattled three or four pills into her palm then looked back and forth, her eyes scouring her desk for something to help her swallow what I hoped was only Tylenol. Once the glass had been spotted, my friend drew her hand to her mouth, threw her head back and began guzzling water. We finally made eye contact over her glass.

I smiled. “Hi! Sounds like today hasn’t been your day, has it?”

Calmer now, she said, “!@#$  %^&* )(&, !@#$%!!!” (non-explicit translation: “What gave you that idea?”)

She didn’t wait for a response but cut loose on the organization and how they needed to get it together. She had been there seven years now and wasn’t about to start {more expletives} dealing with this {more expletives} now. She had a husband and daughter to get home to. They meant more to her than this job ever would. She’d change districts if she had to. I saw my chance to neutralize the situation as soon as she mentioned her family.

“Speaking of your daughter, you still haven’t showed me the photos from her birthday party!”

After showing up so late to our appointment, I didn’t really have the time to talk about her daughter’s party. I wasn’t incredibly interested, either. I knew that a few minutes of showing and explaining photographs of the most important people in her life, she’d calm down and we could exchange notes and ideas for our project more efficiently, so this was entirely worth it.

The contention and stress almost disappeared from her face as she reached into her purse and drew out a large envelope of photographs. The chagrin that stormed into the office gradually morphed into the content smirk I had loved for years. I had successfully placated one of the biggest tempers I’ve ever known.

The trick was to acknowledge the trespass that others hadn’t. One just doesn’t keep my friend from her family. Doing so is failing to acknowledge the biggest portion of her life. I don’t have kids. I have a blog. It isn’t much different for me. (In other words, talk about what I wrote, and I’ll instantly love you….just sayin’)

I think God isn’t incredibly different. Sure, His perfection means that He doesn’t stomp around dropping F-words like lightning bolts, but He has several things that are incredibly important to Him. Jesus said,

Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Law

and you will only have trivialized yourself.

But take it seriously, show the way for others,

and you will find honor in the kingdom.

Don’t forget what God cares about. Jesus may have fulfilled the law, but God’s word is a lot more than law. The Bible is the established means of communicating to the church. Sure we have prophets, teachers, pastors and and everyone else in the mix, but they aren’t everything (sometimes, I even wonder how accurate some of them are– they are people, you know). We have to remember, the Bible is a lot more than just a collection of words.

It’s life.