I had a real moment recently. The day didn’t start badly, but as time went on, it became more challenging. Dad agreed to have oyster lunch with our friend who is paralyzed and lives in a nursing home. I was excited because I always feel pulled in many directions. This day I was able to be with BOTH my father and friend and we were all going to enjoy the best oysters in Ormond Beach, Florida.
The first thing was that dad was a little slow in getting going. I called the nursing home to let them know I needed a wheelchair for him so one would be in the lobby when we arrived. That went well. Then, I tried to call to talk to my friend so he would know we were coming, but would be a little late. He is unable to answer his phone – for obvious reasons – so I tried to connect with the staff to connect with him. This is where the day stopped being wonderful.
I was unable to connect with my friend, so dad and I showed up with $40 worth of oysters and our friend had already eaten his lunch. He thought we were not coming since we were late. Well, from there, anger drove the bus. I was upset with the staff for refusing to take a phone to him so I could tell him. I was upset with him for not asking the staff to call me on the phone I provide him so he could check if we were still coming. I am too ashamed to say what else happened.
The next evening, my friend called to chat. He said, ‘You were awful upset yesterday.’ Great observation. I began to recount all that happened – every detail of what happened and how I felt he was inconsiderate for not calling and on and on I went. He was speechless. Then, I asked that he tell me ‘how I should respond to all this???’
In a humble voice, he said, ‘Could you still love me anyway?’ Then I was speechless. Yes, I do still love him and he reminded me that I want to make all the mistakes I make, ignore my time with God and others, speed read through my devotions, be impatient when I justify it because I am tired, drive discourteously at times, and more and still look up to heaven and ask God, “Could You still love me anyway?” His answer is “Yes.” He tells me He loves me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31.3) even when I deserve to hear how inconsiderate I have been and how I inconvenienced others at times, and more.
God’s Word instructs on how I need to be with others – Romans 12.10 – ‘Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another’ and Ephesians 4.32 – ‘And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’
Yes, my friend reminded me that I want to be loved even though I am a sinful woman and live in a sinful world and I pray, ‘…the Lord make (me) to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men…’ (1 Thessalonians 3.12) because ‘Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.’ (1 John 4.11) Amen.
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