I had an encounter with my workplace's resident "mean girl" yesterday. Do you know any "mean girls"? You know the type I am talking about, right? Females who seem to thrive on conflict and division, who are happiest when they are shaming or belittling others. Of course I knew some "mean girls" growing up, that is to be expected. But what I am talking about is the adult version of a "mean girl", the type that can be found in any workplace that has a large female presence (like mine). This type always seems to have a following of otherwise (individually) perfectly nice females who hang on to the leader's every word and imitate her meanness at every opportunity. There is a pack or clique mentality that just magnifies the cruelty and carelessness to new levels.
So, I had this encounter. I could tell you about it in great detail, but wouldn't that make me a mean girl? I mean, in the very unlikely event that the person in question stumbled across my words and recognized herself in them, wouldn't I be sinking to her level? That is something I do not want to do. So, let's just say I had this encounter that was fairly public and highly frustrating for me. Frustrating because I wanted to say so much, wanted to shame her publicly, wanted to lash out. And I couldn't. In small part because I am now in an official supervisory position (at least on paper) and a public display would have landed me in hot water. But in larger part I felt I couldn't lash out because of my role as the leader of our workplace prayer group. If I had said what I was thinking, it would have been weighed and judged against my claim of salvation. And I would most definitely be found lacking, because I was most assuredly not thinking kind, christian thoughts.
I haven't been able to get this incident out of my mind. My biggest question is why? Why, in all the years that I have known this particular woman, has she always been this way? What shaped her into this? Why can she not see how ugly her behavior is? Why do others follow her? Why can't they see the truth of their actions, the cruelty in their laughter and whispers? Why,why, why??
These seem like pointless questions, and yet I can't get rid of them. They seem so fruitless. Or am I missing the point? Rather than seeing these thoughts as pointless or fruitless, perhaps I should be viewing them as a call to prayer. Maybe God is speaking to me and I am not listening. Matthew 5:44 says "I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do
good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use
you, and persecute you". Maybe God is trying to tell me to pray. Pray for her, pray for the people who flock around her, for their victims. And pray that in the future I will be led by God's spirit in my interactions with her and her flock. After all, while they are not my favorite people, they are His children, loved just as I am loved.
Ugh. Sometimes being a child of God is really uncomfortable. It would be so much easier to just live in my frustration and anger, to let it fester and color my perceptions of this group. My very human spirit does not want to rise above. So pray for me. I think I am gonna need it!