I thought about the Proverbs all through my day. Preparing for tonight’s podcast, it was probably a good thing, for me, that the internet was down in east Madison County through the afternoon; less distractions–more quality study time. I’m humbled when I study the wisdom from above that’s first pure, then peaceable, gentle and reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits (James 3:17). If I can only experience the practicality of this wisdom, my life will be pure and gentle. I will be at peace with my God and my conscience. I will live ready to die.
So on the drive home from the podcast, I reviewed, as I always do, some of the finer points of the discussion and I thought about some of the ways life can be better if I make some applications. Then I stopped at McDonald’s so I could catch up on the messages I’d been missing throughout the afternoon. That’s the one great thing about McDonald’s–the internet seems to always be working….Oh, and the Pumpkin Spice latte is another great thing!
She was standing there, leaning over the counter, with her bottom sticking out toward the rest of the customers. Her black t-shirt did not meet her red shorts. Her pretty blond hair was up in a messy bun. She had lots of colorful bracelets on her arms and some anklets around her flip-flop clad feet. Her mostly-worn-off toenail polish was neon green and she talked loudly to the employees and to some of the customers. She took the name of the Lord in vain and then, in tones where all could hear, she spoke about her recent pregnancy. The woman she spoke to asked the whereabouts of her baby.
She responded that the baby lives with his daddy in the very neighborhood in which I live. Then the woman asked her why she doesn’t have her baby.
“Well, because I was only 15 when I got pregnant,” she replied, “…and he was 21, so I could just say he raped me…,I really don’t care. He’s almost five months old, though, and he’s the cutest little baby.” She said it as though she had just observed a sweet little puppy in someone else’s yard.
Soon, she began a conversation with another employee and went on to describe how that some guy (she named him) had sent her a naked picture of himself. She struck the pose that apparently was in the picture. She described genitals in the very crudest of terms. By now I was sitting all the way across the restaurant from her and I could still hear every expletive. I was attempting to correspond with a lady about my lesson for this weekend: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles.” But it became increasingly hard to focus as the ugly language of the devil emanated from her beautiful lips.
Lots of emotions just washed over me. I wanted to go comb my neighborhood for that baby and bring him home with me. I wanted to sit that pretty little girl down at my table and give her a dressing-down. I wanted to find her mother and then put my arms around her in pity and ask what on earth she was thinking all at the same time. I wanted to tell the manager of that McDonald’s that this filthy conversation between employees and patrons (particularly at this volume) was inappropriate. I felt shock, even in 2013, that a conversation like that was going on in a public place and several employees were participating. I felt relief that I had not brought my family or friends with me to hear this vile talk. Mostly, I just felt intense hatred for the devil.
But I had been studying the Proverbs. A couple of them came to mind.
”A child left to (herself) brings (her) mother shame,” (Proverbs 29:15).
“As a ring of gold in a pig’s snout, so is a fair woman without discretion,” (Proverbs 11:22).
She was but a child and she had obviously been left to herself. At the same time, she was a woman–a fair woman– without even a hint of discretion. She did shame her mother. She was a ring in a pig’s nose.
The final thing that she declared very loudly was that she is hoping to get a job at that McDonald’s. “I’ve applied like a hundred times. I know I’ll probably hate it here, but I like all the people…” How foolish! Does she really think she is impressing the management by her loitering, loud and loathsome behavior? By the time I left, she had been at the counter for a full hour.
One final Proverb comes to mind:
“A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knows nothing,” (Proverbs 9:13)
I hope she does get the job. I want to go back and see her again. This time I will have a printed invitation to our services with me. I will speak with her about the Lord as I should have done even tonight. As I reflect on her youth and as I try to shake from my mind the image of her immodesty and crude behavior, I realize there is a sense in which she is a victim of environment. Perhaps no one has ever spoken His name to her. Perhaps she has never been exposed to the example of even one godly woman. Perhaps her only role models have been rings of gold. She’s only 16 and the devil has already trapped her in the shadows of hell, itself. But she can still get out of his trap. There’s also this Proverb:
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death,” (Proverbs 14:27).
May I have the faith to believe that people can turn away from the devil’s snares. May I have the courage to lead others to the fountain of life. May I fear Him every day. Trusting Him, may I wait upon the Lord and may He renew my strength.