It was a lovely day on HOPE Mountain. The birds were chirping, the trees swayed in the wind, the weather was perfect-not too hot with just the right breeze. It was quiet. No one was here except for my girls and they were busy with their own activities.
Since today is Holy Saturday, the government blessed us with electricity all day! This meant that I could use my Keurig as much as I wanted because I wouldn’t drain our battery operated inverter. This means all types of coffee all day…what a happy day!
With coffee in hand, I sat on my balcony and enjoyed the view. I never tire of watching God’s amazing creation. So, I sat there for hours. I caught up with friends on Facetime. I watched episodes of my favorite reality TV show, Mary Mary. I laughed with my girls when they’d peek outside to check on me. I cried as I watched and read testimonies of how God worked on the hearts of people who’ve spent time up here.
As you can probably see, I was having a great day!
As I enjoyed my day, I saw my housekeeper talking on the phone. She sat on a lounge chair by the pool with her shoulders slumped over and her head in her hands. I knew that she would interrupt my sweet happy place when her call ended, so I tried hard to forget that she was there.
I know, the missionary who is supposed to always walk in love wasn’t feeling it at the moment! You see, I was tired! Life has been non-stop and I was so glad to have a day all to myself. It was all about me. So I glued my eyes to my Ipad screen as Erica and Tina had it out on Mary Mary while my hurting housekeeper stood at the screen door waiting for me to acknowledge her. I mean, today was all about me…right?
I guess not!
I pushed pause and invited her into my space.
She and I have had many intimate conversations before, but I’ve never seen her this distraught. Never this overwhelmed!
She began to divulge the details of her phone call. It was sad. The result of a lifetime of choices that just seem right at the moment, but you never stopped to ask for advice nor to consider the consequences.
Well now, she has to face those consequences. And it’s not easy.
Though her intentions have been pure from the beginning, they’ve been misunderstood. That misunderstanding is causing her pain today.
So what would one do in that situation?
Most would rise up to defend themselves. That’s what she wanted to do. Truthfully, her defense would make sense-to her anyway.
The sad reality is that most people choose to hold on to bitterness, no matter how hard you try to make things right. I’ve been there…on both sides.
So I listened. As I listened, I prayed to God for forgiveness for my selfishness as she spoke. Conviction hit me right smack dab in the heart. How could I so badly want today to be all about me when one is hurting right next to me?
As she spoke, I thought about my own bitterness.
I thought about my own sin of holding on to pain.
I thought about my own sin of wanting to defend myself.
I thought about my own sin of wanting everyone to understand me.
I thought about my own sin of waiting to see those who’ve hurt me suffer.
Yes, I saw my own evil heart in her story!
When she finished speaking, she looked at me with those same searching eyes that I’ve seen so many times before. She needed HOPE and she figured I could fulfill that need.
So, I asked God to forgive me again. This time for the sins of my heart. Then I asked Him for words for her.
I opened my mouth and these words came out, “Love never fails.”
I talked to her about love. I told her that her only recourse was to love that person because it’s the only thing that works. No other way works. No other risk is worth taking.
There is no trying so hard to make the other understand when we love.
There is no fighting to get my own way when we love.
There is no double mindness when we love.
There is no getting the other person back when we love.
Love hurts. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes it takes all you’ve got. Sometimes it leaves you breathless. Sometimes it drains you. Sometimes it pierces your very heart.
Love makes hard choices.
Love reacts with love.
Love chooses to move forward when everything around you says to stop.
Love decides to forget.
Love starts anew.
Love is an action that is reserved for the mighty. You can’t be weak and call yourself a lover.
Love gets back up each time it’s knocked down.
Love can’t stay down.
As I finished my discourse, she wept. So did I.
Her problems shone a light on my problems. The answer to her pain is the same answer to mine. Love never fails for God is love and God will never fail.
So I guess today really was for me after all. God reminded me of who I am today. I am loved by Him and filled with His Spirit, thus positioned and able to love all.
As we carry on in our quest called life, let’s love. Though it may sometimes tear us apart, let’s trust that our God will put us back together and keep us in tact.
As I continue to enjoy the beauty of HOPE Mountain, I will keep myself willing and available to all God brings my way.