Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Walk of Faith

My neighbor is sick.  Not just a little sick, she's terminally ill.  I'm going to see her today. This is among the saddest things I've ever faced in my life. 

Since I have known her, she's been my mentor, my friend, and my support. She was unlike anyone I had ever come in contact with when we first met.  Her seventh child was the same age as my oldest. She home schooled....I had never even heard of homeschooling before. Was that even allowed? (It was 1990).

As we got to know each other through the years, she never ceased to amaze me and still does.  She lives her faith....not just when you would see her out....but every moment of every day.

She taught me how to bake homemade bread, the joy of hanging my laundry out to dry, and most importantly the importance of faith in every little detail of life. I could not count the times she caused me to pause and reflect on my own journey of faith.

One of the most profound  lessons she ever taught me was the day she came to my house to apologize and ask forgiveness.  Apologize....I couldn't even imagine for what!  The day before we had one of our front porch conversations while our children rode their bikes up and down the street.  She had expressed frustration with someone close to her (whom I did not know personally) and I listened and I commiserated.  That's what friends do.  That's what she was apologizing for.....and asking my forgiveness..... she had said things about this person that she felt she should not have said. Unbelievable....I didn't think anything of it.

But that's not what was so amazing......

She told me she had called that person, admitted to gossip and speaking uncharitably about her and asked her forgiveness.  She was coming to me to apologize and ask my forgiveness as well. 


Can you imagine?  It still brings tears  to my eyes. 

2 Timothy 2:21-23

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

How many times was I guilty of the same thing?  How many times had I said things about someone that I shouldn't have?  What did it say about me that I didn't even question speaking about another person? Would I....Could I do what she was doing?  Practicing her faith......Totally and Completely!

I made the decision that day that she was living exactly the way I wanted to live.  I can't say that I'm as successful. I fall far short. I have been blessed beyond measure to be considered her friend.

Our community is grieving over her illness.  I will miss her dearly.  Her family will face a void that cannot be filled.  I know how they will deal with it....with total and complete faith in the Lord.  But it still hurts....

I take solace and rejoice in knowing that she will undoubtedly hear the Lord greet her with, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." 

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