Bill stomped up the stairs and threw the door open, banging it so hard against the office wall that the door knob smashed into the drywall and stuck like a foul ball in a chain link fence. Red-faced, he glared at his shocked colleagues and growled, “What’s everyone staring at?”
While unlocking his office door, the keys slipped to the floor and some choice expletives followed. He slammed the door behind him as Sally, Bob and Bernie sat in stunned silence.
“What is wrong with that guy? He’s a walking time-bomb. No wonder Mary left him… she was a saint to stay so long.”
Bernie let out a sigh. “Can you talk to him, Sally? You’re his friend. He can’t just keep coming in here and being such a jerk.”
“He’s scary, man. Guys like him end up going postal and shooting everyone!”
The three of them went back to work on their individual advertising projects but Sally couldn’t help thinking about Bill. Since joining the business seven years earlier, she was well aware of her co-worker’s shortcomings, but lately he seemed worse.
Later that morning…
Sally, always the peacemaker, glanced from her associates to the office of doom. They nodded their approval and motioned her towards the door. “Either you talk some sense into him or we’ll be hiring another advertising manager. We’re really fed up with his stuff.”
It wasn’t that Sally liked Bill that much, she actually pitied him. They attended the same church and she had prayed with him a couple of times about his temper. She felt obligated as a sister in Christ to try to help him get a grip.
She knocked on his door and waited. Nothing. She knocked again.
“Yeah, what do you want?” A gentler Bill responded.
“It’s me…Sally. We need to talk.”
After a few seconds the door opened. Bill moved behind his desk and gazed out the window. Sally pulled the door behind her and took a seat in the old oak chair reserved for Bill’s dwindling clientele.
“You’ve got a problem, my friend.”
Bill stared intently at nothing.
Sally’s attention was drawn to the 30-something, good-looking Christian. She hadn’t thought much about it before, but now that his anger had subsided, he seemed almost…civilized.
“Did you hear me?”
“I heard. Did you have any other words of wisdom before you leave?”
Sally threw up a prayer for just the right godly words that might make a difference to a man who for the moment, didn’t care about anything or anybody but himself.
“As a matter of fact I do. You know Bill, I’m really sorry that your wife left you. That really stinks. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have my Danny walk out on me. But you know what? You’re not the only person in this world with problems. In fact, did you know that Bob’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer? He just found out yesterday. You know what else? Bob’s not even a Christian but he came in here this morning filled with hope, believing that they can beat this thing. He even asked me to pray for him because he knows I’m a…that I pray.”
Bill turned away from the window and casually made eye contact…then folded his arms and looked away. “Are you finished?”
“Actually, no, I’m not. Last week-end, before the state high school basketball play-offs, Bernie’s son, the starting guard, got caught drinking and was kicked off the team. He had a scholarship riding on those play-offs which were probably his only chance of ever getting into college.”
“I think I hear violin music.”
“I’m going to tell you something Mr. Righteous Indignation…Mr. Anger Management Gone Awry. You’re supposed to be setting an example. You should be glowing in the essence of Christ which is love and joy and humility. You should be putting others above yourself. Life is not about you and the troubles that come your way; it’s about how you respond and how you help others get through their stuff. And right now, I’m pretty disappointed in you, Brother.”
Silence permeated the room. Sally waited…and waited. “Well?”
Taken back by her disappointment, Bill stuttered and stammered, trying to express his thoughts. He sat on the edge of his desk and examined Sally’s face. “You really live out the Christian life, don’t you?”
“Well, at least I try.”
Not taking his eyes away from hers, he shook his head and said, “I’m such an idiot.”
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