I love this picture of my "not a morning bird"...but he is grouchy looking...this is the way I remember the face of this one person...(yes, you know...like how we remember a lot of things...scarier and meaner than they probably really were...:))
I thought I’d start my musings and wonderings and searchings with something not SO volatile…although do not be fooled…there are all sorts of things that; at first glance; seem innocuous…but, beware they harbor truth and often give one a glimpse of what is inside a person…SPOOKY!...The trick is to be clued in and then give them a second chance before you decide if a person is safe or not FOR YOU! Not everyone is going to like you…not everyone is going to agree with you…duh! But, we do have a set of guidelines on how to live, how to treat each other that no one should argue with…and that is set firmly in the principles that God gave us to live by. And the bible says…”By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
I had been a member of a new congregation for a short time when the ladies decided to start a ladies bible class. “Yea” I thought…my Christian sisters and I all getting together to study God’s word and how it applies to us…”Right up my alley”…so off I went, full of dreams of sugar plums dancing in my head.
I believe it was the second time we met for class when I noticed a little something odd…A woman had come who was crying…was sharing some things that were hurting her heart…and one of the women running the study said something to the effect “We don’t have time for that now, we need to stay on track with our study”…WOAH…wait a minute…what are we supposed to be for one another…?? And the bible says…”Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2 That was my first clue that something wasn’t right in Denmark! BUT, that’s not my main story (however I did find the woman later and hug her and ask if she needed anything)…SO
It was a couple of class times later (no, the woman who was crying never came back that I remember) that I accidentally locked my car keys in my car (well, I suppose we would never do that on purpose). OUCH…my husband was out of town and we lived about 8 miles away. I was so distressed and told the two or three women who had already gotten there what I had done…thinking…”I’m in a safe place with my Christian sisters…so not to worry someone will take me home to get my extra set of keys…”…INSTEAD all I got were blank stares; (specifically from one particular woman who will come up again at a later date!) and a suggestion that I should call a lock smith or a taxi!(made by this one particular woman)
AND THEY JUST SAT THERE! (the pause was so long I could have almost sung the Happy Birthday song during that time…but I didn’t) OUCH again! I was shocked! Hmmm…I wonder if the Galatians passage would fit here as well?? Well, what is a woman in distress supposed to do? I didn’t have a quick answer for myself then, but to get a phone book (which they didn’t help me find either…I had to dig around and go downstairs to ask at the front desk of the establishment we were meeting in for a phone book or the number of a taxi service) and look for taxi services. There was only one in our area, so I called and was told it would be a few minutes. WHEW…at least I wasn’t going to be stranded!
When the taxi arrived I ran out and gave the driver directions…all the while babbling about what I had done and thanking him for coming so quickly. He asked me why I had to call him when he could see several women inside and cars in the parking lot. I told him they didn’t offer to help; they had suggested I call him. He asked me what type of group it was. I told him a ladies bible class. You HAVE to know the very next thing he asked…”What kind of church do you belong to where no one would help you out in a tight spot?” “What is the name of this church?” Embarrassed I told him and he said “Well, it isn’t a church I would belong to if this is the way a person gets treated” OUCH again…!
The rest is simple, and not so simple. He drove me home and I got my extra keys and he drove me back and I paid him (he gave me some of it back because he felt sorry for me…thanks Mr. Taxi driver) and made the quick decision to just get in my car and go home instead of returning to class. I mean just how much would I have ingested had I gone back in..cuz I was hurt and angry and embarrassed at that point.
SO, what should I have done? What answers can I give myself to help me to know what would have been the Godly thing to do to straighten out what was in my heart at that point? First of all I was not wrong to just leave. People are people; with all their “stuff” and reasons for being what they are, but we are a child of the King, and we are not under any obligation to go back and let someone wipe their feet on us over and over…We are expected to be dignified and gentle in spirit, (which does NOT mean timid look at 2 Timothy 1:7…”For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline)…hmmm…I’m coming to an answer of sorts I THINK!
Was their behavior a sin? I am not sure except that it doesn’t display a servants heart…aren’t we supposed to have a servants heart? I think so…what about…Ephesians 6:7, Galatians 5:13, I Peter 4: 10-11. But, was it a sin? I can’t say that yet (it’s hard for me)…I can say it was hurtful, selfish (seemingly so), leaving me hanging out there…I’m not going to say it was a sin…I can’t say it…not yet…but it hurt my feelings…What I can say is that it did not seem that they showed a servant’s heart at that point.
BUT, WHAT ABOUT ME? What was my responsibility? I can read Matthew 18:15 which says “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” That scripture is referring to a sin against you…a little dicey (looking at it from a person who HATES to believe people are ugly on purpose)…but what is the overall PRINCIPLE of the thing… If I understand what God really wants of us I believe the right thing would have been for me to go to them and tell them they hurt me…clear the air…find out the facts of WHY they did not offer to help in any way…
NOW DID I DO THAT? Sorry, but no. SHOULD I HAVE? I think so. And, I think I still need to do so…Only NOW it has gotten quite complicated and things have piled up…behavior upon behavior…of which I will refer to in coming days…
What did I actually DO? Well, since I didn’t really know any of them really well I just decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they did not mean to be so cold (how I took it). I let it go, hoping it was a onetime thing…little did I know…sheesh! Had that been the only event I think I would have eventually laughed it off. There have been other incidents since then, and THAT is why I believe I took it to heart…oh bother (as Pooh Bear would say!)
Oh yes...remember what I said at the beginning...yep, this seemingly innocuous event did give me a clue of what was to come...