One morning, a very good friend and I were driving to a destination in his mothers extremely slick Camaro. Mind you, my buddy was borrowing his motherís vehicle until he had the funds to purchase his own, so he was taking special care not to damage the car and made sure I was very vigilant while being a passenger. I do not remember the exact location we were driving to; however, I do remember a sense of urgency about being on time. In route, I was eating some graham crackers and enjoying the ride when somehow the wrapper slipped from my fingers and fell to the floor - Crumbs Everywhere! Of course it was an accident, and by no means did I intend to violate his mothers beautiful automobile; however my buddy did not believe the same. In a flash, he pulls the Camaro to the side of the road and demands we clean up the car and find that wrapper because there would be hell to pay if his mother found out about our blasphemy. So here we are frantically searching for a lost cracker wrapper, in my opinion extremely ridiculous, and in the meantime rapidly becoming late for the engagement.
The whole process, looking for some dumb wrapper, which took more time than it should have, was a waste in my opinion. It wasnít like his mother, who lives in Alaska, was going to fly down that very moment and discover we had cluttered up her beautiful car with some crumbs and a missing wrapper; however my friend did not see the situation the same way. He has been raised in a very strict, probably overly strict home, where every little mistake had retribution of severe consequence. In his mind this was important; however I had a more laid back approach to this whole cracker drama - not being raised as severely as he had been. Eventually, after a heated debate, we located the vile wrapper and finished cleaning the car. Once the dust settled between us, and we realized how silly the whole event had been, we broke out in hysterics; because really we simply just misunderstood each other.
Relationships are very complicated, especially if both parties bring their own set of life wounds and problems into the mix, which actually is very normal. I believe a majority of relational problems stem from a lack of understanding about the other person, and why they behave the way they do. In the scenario I just gave, the real problem was not the crackers but the response both my friend and I presented towards the situation. I was upset because a missing cracker wrapper was no big deal and could be found at a later date, but my friend was disturbed because of what his mother might think or do if she found out about the violation - stemming mostly from his childhood.
Psalm 139:14 tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, even with all our weaknesses. I used this silly example to bring home a very important point: we all are made by God and deserve understanding and respect, even if the other personís response to a situation doesnít make sense. I was guilty of being too judgmental about my friend and his response to the cracker issue, which in his mind was a huge deal. Later on in life, I found out about his childhood and how severe it was, borderline abusive, which would explain his reaction to something so insignificant to me. God made Him and has far more compassion and understanding towards him than I could ever have. If by chance I had given my friend a little more room to be himself - I might have had a better understanding of his actions as well.
Maybe you are in the place I was with a friend, family member, or colleague - where you just do not always ďgetĒ them. Or maybe you are a person who feels very misunderstood by others, and wish there was someone who would embrace you fully, bruises and all. I have fantastic news: GOD DOES!!!!! He made you and understands everything, and according to the Psalms you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God- what freedom that is! If we would simply take the time to recognize each person as unique and specifically made by God, who knows, you might join them and become a lost cracker detective too