My husband and I are perpetual offenders. When it comes to returning library books, we are always late. And when it comes to time spent at the library, we have a number of times outparked our spot. Our city has this sweet habit of giving out courtesy tickets, which basically say you deserve a real ticket, but since it hasn't been more than once in thirty days (I think it's thirty), you're getting away with it this time. We had a real one several weeks back. We didn't even discover it was on our car until the next day, after a rain.
From a financial background of unemployment and underemployment, a $15 fee for parking in a space that is reserved for the public to park in makes me angry. Okay, I get pretty angry about most fees that always serve to oppress the poor, and never hurt anyone who has enough. I think they are wrong. I think they are unreasonable. To threaten citizens who have done nothing immoral or reckless with the loss of their car if they don't pay extortionary fees to the city just makes my blood boil.
And so, after struggling for some time to find a dang parking spot at the police station, and finally parking in a spot reserved for a local attorney's office in direct opposition to the sign that said so, with boiling blood and a sharp tongue unleashed, I stalked into the police station after first trying the wrong door and finding it locked. I saw the window I had to approach to pay my fee. I pulled out my check book and prepared to say some scathing thing to the clerk who waited for me to write. And my eyes fell on the message that I had printed above the signature line: Jesus rescued me. And God sent Him for you, too. I bit my tongue, and wrote in silence. And then I said, "Thank you."