The Art of ‘Flipping the Bird’

2014-01-22 13.55.07

Has this ever happened to you? Being flipped off that is… Last week I was driving on 19th Ave near Indian School (in Phoenix) with my friend Billy Thrall. I was in the passenger seat when these guys drove up next to us motioning through the window to roll down our window. So we did, and the driver said, “You guys want to buy an entertainment center?” With my camera already in hand ready to go, I said, “No, but can I take your picture?”

The picture above was their response. I’m so happy I captured that moment, and Billy and I died laughing thinking, “Did that really just happen?” Yes, yes it did just happen, and you know what, I respect them for doing it. I know, I know, I’m weird like that. I can remember when I was an adolescent and I learned what ‘flipping someone the bird’ was, and one night I was talking with my dad about it and other things about life and relationships. My dad told me, “Jeff, it’s better to be honest with how you feel than to hold it in and brew with anger gossip in your heart and gossip to others about it.”

That’s wisdom, and I listened to it and took it in. Later that night, after some small, petty disagreement with my dad before I went to bed, I looked at my dad while ‘flipping him the bird’ (literally) and said, “Hey dad, good night!” We got a good laugh about that back then, and we still do today.

Many of us have ‘flipped the birds’ in our hearts to people we love, and then acted like we were all buddy, buddy with them at the same time. These guys in the truck are more respectable because they had the freedom (albeit a rebellious freedom that I’m not advocating!) to let out how they truly felt. We would do well, and it would be very loving to those we know, not to BS them with fake affection if we aren’t feeling it. Honesty is beautiful. Being honest about being mad at someone you are close to is even more beautiful.

A Proverb says: Faithful are the wounds of a friend; deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. (27:6) Don’t give kisses to brothers and sisters when you’re ‘flipping them off’ in your heart. Be real. Be loving. Give them the gift of honesty, which is loving. After all, it feels good sometimes to let the birds fly free!