If there is one thing that is really hard for me (to deal with), it's being misunderstood. Whether it is the intention of my actions, or the tone of my voice, or the look in my eyes, I want to be understood.
One of the prime examples is from the birth of our second son. While in labor, and just minutes before he made his presence known, I was in the middle of a hard contraction. The pressure against my lungs was immense. I couldn't catch my breath. I felt like I was going to pass out. I gasped out, "I can't..." But before I could say, "Breathe," one of the nurses rolled her eyes and said, "Oh, yes, you can." Seriously? I had my first son with no drugs whatsoever. I know what natural childbirth feels like. I wanted to scream at her, "I know what I'm going through. I just can't BREATHE!" But, alas, my next contraction hit, and my mind shifted to more pressing issues than straightening out the nurse. :o)
More recently, the misunderstanding worked out in an unusual way, though.
While with my son at a campus visit, I was standing to the side while he was waiting in line for his breakfast. A young lady was sitting nearby. We exchanged the usual, "Hi, how are you?" type of pleasantries. Then, suddenly, she looked right at me and said, "I know what you're thinking. You're judging me!" I was truly shocked. I had no idea what she meant. So I asked, "Judging you for what?" Her response: "You're thinking, 'What's wrong with this crazy girl, and why does she have some of her hair shaved off?' " I could honestly reply, "I didn't even notice that. What I was really thinking was that you're a pretty young lady." And she was! Only after she mentioned it did I notice the small area of shaved hair and the bright streak of pink in the back. Later, as we were leaving campus, we exchanged hugs and I told her I'd be praying for her. She definitely made an impression on me. But not because of her hair. The impression was that she was very self-conscious about her appearance and needed to be reminded that she was beautiful. (That's not her in the pic. Just a random pic.)
In pondering this, I think we often do the same thing with God. When we're in the middle of a situation, we assume we know why God is doing what He's doing to us. He's mad at us. He's trying to teach us a lesson. He's punishing us for a sin.
Maybe we should ask HIM what his intentions are.