I worked as a waitress in a restaurant. One night, a big sister working in our restaurant came back from the visit to her hometown. As it was the first time that we met, I greeted her with civility but she ignored me. From her words and actions, I found she was an aggressive woman with surly and insolent character. As for me, who didn’t understand anything overseas, couldn’t speak foreign language and was inexperienced in work, I was even the object of being bullied.
At work, she often ordered me around, asking me to give customers knives and folks, sauce, drinks, and the like. Sometimes, because there were so many customers in our restaurant, I was too busy to remember what she wanted me to take. When I asked her again, she would peevishly say, “What a bad memory! You forget something so quickly!” Once, while I was washing cups, she asked me to give customers drinks. However, my hands were full of foam while some other waiters were not busy, then I casually answered her, “I’m washing cups.” Unexpectedly, after hearing my answer, she suddenly came down on me loudly, “I ask you to serve drinks. Why do you wash cups?” Before getting off work, she even degraded me in public. I thought: You degraded me before so many people on such an occasion, where could I hide my face? You are too insolent! The more I thought, the more I felt bad. However, I had no choice but silently endure the grievance in my heart. In the days that followed, she still treated me like that. I was most reluctant to get along with such a person and was also unwilling to talk to her. When she again ordered me around and asked me to take something, I would ignore her directly. Even though I helped her, I was reluctant and my complaint against her increased by the day. I thought: You are older than me and I treat you as a big sister. Yet you treat me that way. Your words and actions are too insolent! If you go on like that, I will lose my temper with you and never bear you…. When I was absorbed in these thoughts, I became more and more annoyed and suppressed as if a volcano would erupt. However, thinking of myself as a Christian, I knew it was wrong, so I came before God and prayed: “Oh God, when I saw she treated me badly, my heart felt conflicted and distressed and I even wanted to scold her in return. But God, I believe this environment is arranged by You, and I should learn to obey Your sovereignty, but I don’t know why this environment happened to me. May You lead me to understand Your intention….”
After going home, I read God’s words: “You say that someone offended you, stepped on your toes, or pushed you aside, and you’re going to find a way to confront him, pit yourself against him, fight with him, and in the end you’ll rely on tactics and formidableness, on your ability to defeat him, to shame him. Is that okay? Is that putting the truth into practice? This is hot blood, and revealing a corrupt disposition. As believers in God, we can’t do that. Behaving that way hurts God. There is no bearing witness; it shames God! If non-believers do that and you also do that, then what difference is there between you? They conduct themselves that way and their methods and ways of doing things and of conducting themselves are like that. They rely on their hot blood, tactics, their corrupt disposition, artifice, ferocity, and malice in all things. If you also do things that way, then there’s nothing different about you.” God’s words really speak to my heart and exactly describe my current condition. It is true: When someone steeps me and even repels and degrades me, I will rely on my hatred and corrupt disposition to act against them. Then, am I not the same with the non-believers? Although that big sister treated me badly and aimed at me everywhere, yet that was her practice. If I lose my temper with her and even deal with her, what’s the difference between me and non-believers? In that case, not only will I lose my witness before God, but I will be also treated as a joke by Satan. Now reflecting on myself, why could I not stand her, want to lose my temper with her, and deal with her when she worked off her anger on me, or degraded and repelled me time after time? It turned out that I lived by the satanic disposition of “Tie for tat is fair play.” I thought: Since you make me lose my face and hurt myself-esteem, why do I keep standing you? Doesn’t it seem that I am always bullied by others and am a good-for-nothing without integrity and dignity? That is why I want to fight her back and to let her see that I am not easy to bully. If I truly do in that way, not merely do I not practice the truth, but instead I live by the worldly rules of living, which is hated by God.
Next, I also read these God’s words: “So what should you do? How can you stand witness? What should a person who follows God do? Isn’t this something you should think about? If he’s oppressing you and he’s not fair to you, what should you do? (First come in front of God to pray and seek.) You must first come in front of God and not rely on your hot blood. You must quiet your heart. In fact, frequently the appropriate course of action is clear. You give it some thought: ‘God has said that all things and events are in His hands. All of this is within His orchestration—I believe that this is not incidental. Even though he has a corrupt disposition and he’s bullying me now, he’s giving me a hard time, I believe that everything is in God’s hands. I will accept this thing from God and treat it properly. I will pray to God and not confront him. I won’t pay any attention to him, take him seriously, or lower myself to his level….’ When you have this kind of practice, often Satan will just retreat in shame.” Reading these words, my heart was suddenly brightened. God’s words gave me a clear path of practice. Today, as a person following God, when encountering things, I should firstly think that everything is controlled in God’s hands and this environment is arranged by God. Although what she did damaged my interests, making me lose my face and feel painful, yet I am a Christian and I should accept all things from God. First, I should come before God and pray to Him, letting my heart be tranquil, not relying on hot blood, not looking for others’ trouble, and pursuing to live out normal humanity by God’s words. Only by these can I glorify and manifest God, and put Satan to shame. Having equipped myself with God’s words, I knew the path of practicing the truth. So, I prayed to God: “Oh God, I am willing to obey the people, things and matters that You arrange for me. Today, as a Christian, I can’t speak and behave by Satan’s life principles, or treat others by hot blood. I am also willing to seek to live out normal humanity to testify You in this environment….”
Then, when I worked with her, sometimes she spoke with a bad tone to me or ordered me around, and I could still feel uncomfortable. But at such times, I would hurriedly pray to God and be willing to obey the environment that God arranged for me; I couldn’t treat this thing by the way of non-believers just because I felt distressed. No matter how she treated me, I thought, I should peacefully talk with her through the prayer. It was wonderful that, when I practiced in that way, the pain in my heart gradually disappeared and it became easier and easier for me to practice the truth.
In the blink of an eye, a month or two passed. Slowly, that big sister seldom came down on me, her words weren’t so gruff as before, her attitude toward me became gentle, and she even greeted me with concern. Sometimes, she cared for me and said, “Tingting, the weather gets cold. You remember to wrap up warm.” “I have an extra work clothes. If you don’t have enough to change, you can have it.” What made me feel more wonderful was: Sometimes she helped me with my work, and when I helped her, she said thanks to me. In the past, she talked with our boss and other workmates; but now, she actively came to chat with me about her past life or other things, and took care of me. Likewise, I could chat to her with an open heart as well…. Confronted with all of this, I felt warm in my heart and couldn’t help but thank and praise God. I truly realized that God’s word is the truth. It is just as God says, “When you have this kind of practice, often Satan will just retreat in shame.”
Thanks be to God! In my experience, I saw that, no matter how big the contradiction between people is, no matter how deep their estrangement is, or no matter how unreasonable we feel the other is, as long as we come before God to seek His intention, pray to Him and act in accordance with His word, we will see His wonderful deeds.
By Shu Xun, Italy