The Unexpected Apology

Adrianna saw me by the coffee machine before Sunday School on Sunday. As I took the carafe of hot water to pour over my tea, she walked over to me and gave me a hug.

“I am sorry.” She said.

The other Sunday school people were mingling, hanging coats over chairs to save their place, and in fifteen minutes we would start our lesson.

“For what?” Mentally, I reviewed my week. What did she do to make her feel like she had to apologize to me?

“I cut you off in traffic.” She said, looking embarrassed. “You were making a right turn. I was making a left from the opposite direction. I was trying to get ahead of the construction and you. We ended up side-by-side, until I passed you.”

I remembered now, sort of, but it wasn’t really annoying me. In fact, I didn’t even get a glimpse of the drivers face. I did remember that I also sped up.

“Maybe I should apologize, too.” I said. “I did speed up.”

That’s what I love about my friends and fellow congregants at my church. We’re not all perfect. In fact, we can get on each others nerves pretty thoroughly or even be so agenda-driven that we can appear cold or judgmental or self-centered. Adrianna got a cup of coffee and walked towards the Sunday School president. S.M. made his way over to me. His eyes were focused on the coffee.

“Adrianna apologized.” I said as S.M. poured coffee into a styrofoam cup.

He looked puzzled and said, “Why?”

“She cut me off in traffic.”

“You do that to people all of the time.” He made a point of saying.

“I did apologize. But I think it’s amazingly humble. You hardly see that sometimes. Even I have trouble apologizing. My first reaction is defensiveness.” I added sugar to my tea and bobbed the tea bag up and down in the hot water. It turned brandy-colored. The brand was only Lipton, but it would be okay. I made a mental note to later try the new Brambleberry Tea I bought on Friday.


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