I am sitting here in my chair, with so much I want to write. This blog is about my faith journey and I am not perfect. My story is still unfinished, there are many more chapters to be written. My intention was to "Get Real" and it doesn't get much more real than this.
It has been an interesting (God is working on my heart) kind of week. I admitted something to my husband tonight that I am afraid to even write about. I plan to have some deep conversations with God about it.
I think it reveals some ugliness in me that Satan would love to keep inside of me, but I am not going to let it stay there. What saddens me deeply is that I am embarrassed to even take this struggle to God as I think about MckMama sitting for days in the hospital watching Stellan struggle. (Please read about Stellan's story here and add him to your prayer list).
I am sure you are wondering now, where I am going with this story, here is where it gets a little ugly. I realized this week that it is really easy for me to be friends with some people, but really difficult for me to be a friend to all people.
When I first moved to this little town I knew no one. I was a stay-at-home mom with no contact with the outside world, (or so it seemed). The easiest place for me to meet new friends was at church. A few months after we moved to town I was invited to attend a Women of Faith Conference with some women from the church. I was hesitant to go, because I did not know any of these women very well, but I decided it was a great opportunity to get to know some women better.
On the way to the conference the ladies in charge said that they prayerfully considered which women would stay in the same rooms at the conference. They did not have a sign-up sheet. This statement made me very nervous. Well, I realized that one of the women I knew well would be in my room, but the other two were strangers. Now I was even more nervous.
The gal that invited me had one of her high-school friends on the trip and she was one of our other roommates. The fourth woman, was someone that did not regularly attend our church. In my mind she was a little different, and I was a lot nervous now. Not only was I going to share a room with this woman, but I was going to share a bed with her. I don't think that the first night I got any sleep because I was so uncomfortable.
Because I chose to judge this woman, I never ever really got to know her. She started to attend our church more regularly, but I never did really have a conversation with her. I really didn't know anything about her. She came and went at the church over the next couple of years.
Two days ago I was reading the paper and I realized that she died in a car accident over the weekend. My heart aches for my selfishness and intolerance.
The parable of the Good Samaritan, a story I have known since I was a young child, is playing through my head.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." Luke 10:25-37
. . ."And who is my neighbor?" Tears flow freely as I cry out to God and ask for His forgiveness. For who am I to judge who is worthy to be called my friend?
I am unworthy of the love that I have from Jesus. God sent His son to die to save me. He is not only my Savior, He is also my friend.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
Thankfully, God isn't finished with me yet. I know that not everyone that I meet will become a close friend. However, everyone I meet is my neighbor.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Please remember Annie's family in your prayers.
Lord, I need you today to help me love my neighbor as myself. Please help me to let go of all judgements I have toward others. Help me to love all people Just as you love me. Amen