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Mexico Madness

    I woke in the morning with the sun peaking through the blinds of my bedroom window.  As I was lying in my bed, I could feel the warmth of the sun on my back and hear the sound of birds singing.  This was definitely a good day to take my daughter, Carrie, and my foreign exchange student to visit Tijuana, Mexico.  Once or twice a year, when the kids have been very good, I would take the kids out of school to enjoy a day of fun.  It was my way of rewarding them for hard work and good grades.  

    Our foreign exchange student, Anna, was from Russia.  She was living with us for her entire senior year.  I thought that since we lived in Chula Vista, California, and were only seven miles from Tijuana, I would take her to another country to visit and experience, and to put another stamp in her passport book.  So, I got up, woke the girls, and told them we were going to Mexico! They were excited, of course, for the “ditch day,” especially Anna, because this would be another country to visit.  We all got ready and off we went to Mexico.

     Once we arrived in Mexico, we headed down the main street of the shopping district.  Anna was stunned by the poverty she saw as we drove down the road, but was soon distracted by the bunches of little stores with all the wares hanging outside and the merchants in the front calling people into their stores.  Anna had a fun time learning how to barter with the sellers and buying a few treasures to take home with her. We had lunch and after a few more shopping stops we headed home.

     One of the fun things to do as you leave Tijuana is to buy from venders who stand out on the street among the cars in line waiting to cross to the U.S. side of the border.  There is a lot of bargaining with many beautiful things that the sellers shove through your car windows.  The cars are bumper to bumper and the traffic moves at a snail’s pace.  Sometimes it takes two to four hours to cross.

     The lady behind me, kept honking at me, and so, not to get angry and do something I would regret, I looked out my side mirror and smiled and waved at her.  This honking and waving went on a couple of times until Anna and Carrie said that this lady was going to smash in the back of my car.  I told them that she was not going to do that, because I can only move as fast as the car in front of me.  But as soon as I said that, BAM! She hit my brand new Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer.  I couldn’t believe she actually hit my truck.  She not only hit me but also bashed in my back gate.  I was fit to be tied! But in Mexico, if you get in an accident, no one asks any questions. They just throw you in jail.

    I knew that to be true, because I remember one year, a newlywed couple went to Tijuana for a honeymoon and while they were there, they were in a very big car accident.  The husband went to jail immediately and his wife was badly hurt.  In jail no one told him anything about his wife.  His family, after a week got enough money to get him out of jail and it was then that he found out that his wife had died.  There was no one to help them.  So the last thing I was going to do was call the police while on Mexican property.

    I was so angry that my sinful mind started to think of ways to get even.  It was then that I remembered that Mexican people could be very superstitious; they often talk about ghosts and evil curses.  I then moved into another lane and when I got next to her car, I honked my horn at her.  When she looked at me, I held my hand out to her and said, “I curse you!” As soon as those words left my mouth, the Holy Spirit immediately convicted me.  

    I knew I was wrong even before I said it, but the anger was so intense that I couldn’t hold it back. It was as if the Holy Spirit was saying to me, “What are you doing, Jo?   You have no idea what you are doing!”  It was like the movies and cartoons we watch with the Devil and angel on your shoulder fighting with each other over a decision you need to make.  And the Devil, with all my anger, won, but I was the loser.

     Then, God told me that I had to apologize for what I had just said to that lady.  I said, “Why?  She started it and she hit my new truck!”  I sounded like a child!   Still, I knew I did a wrong thing, and I had to make things right before I lost sight of this woman.  

     So I got out of my car, went up to her truck and asked for forgiveness.  I told her that I was sorry and that I had no power or business saying what I did and asked if she would forgive me.  She had picked up her newborn as I came to the truck.  I think she was thinking I was going to beat her up.  After I asked for forgiveness, she said she didn’t speak English.  I then went to my car and drove all the way home crying.  Crying because my car was bashed in and because I had to apologize, but also because I knew it was the right thing to do.

    My foreign exchange student was very puzzled at my crying.  She asked me why I was crying?  I told her that even though the lady crushed in my truck, I sinned because of my anger.  I took revenge on the lady by messing with her fear of superstitions and telling her I could put a curse on her.  Anna thought that the lady deserved all of this because she hit my truck, but I explained to her, my part of the problem.

    I shared with her that just because the woman had done a bad thing to me, it didn’t give me the right to do the same to her.  I told her that the Bible teaches us to not pay back evil with evil (Romans 12:17 NIV). I let my anger get the best of me and therefore, I sinned.

     I told her that one of the best things about having the Holy Spirit living inside your heart is that He makes it very clear when we do things wrong and I learned quickly that I was going to be upset for some time if I didn’t make amends right away.  I don’t know if she really understood what I was telling her, but the seeds were planted by my obedience to the Holy Spirit. With my prayers and His interceding, she will come to an understanding.  I’m sure of it.

     I eventually got my truck fixed and our exchange student, Anna returned to her home country, but the lessons we learned and the memories we made on our spontaneous trip to Tijuana that day, will forever be etched in our memories!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Jo Treinen

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