Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)
TITLE: Friends Turned Away
By Jean Beier
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Mildred talks over my shoulder to Clara, inviting her to lunch. It is as though I am not even there. She does not say, excuse me, but may I speak to Clara. It will only take a minute. She just talks right over me, and not just once, but she keeps coming back, making three attempts to get an answer from Clara, whom I am having a conversation with. Finally, Mildred, hears, Clara’s, “yes, I will meet you there”.
I accept it up, because I have learned the hard way that a Christian does not get offended. A Christian does not allow hurt to enter her heart, so I say to Clara, “Go ahead, they are waiting for you”, and I leave the church with my head held high, back stiff, and a smile plastered over my secret crying face.
I decide to call Clara, to finish the conversation we started after the church service. We do the usual small talk, and just as I am about to get to what plays on my mind, Clara takes a drastic turn. I hardly believe what I am hearing as Clara begins to tell me details of their luncheon, and discussion about me. About me! She tells me how I can’t help being how I am. I fear to hear what she means by that, so I keep quiet. I don’t ask questions. I listen to the rest of her words, but they all blur together. They are all words spoken about me. Gossip words, judgment words, condemning words. I heard some “sticking up” for me words, but those seem so shallow coming after the other words.
There are feelings that I would like to express to Clara, and words I would like to say to her, but then I remember, a Christian is not allowed to be offended or hurt.
Clara goes on telling me of other meetings that the group enjoys. She seems oblivious to how that might make me feel. Again, I accept it up.
As I muse, I ask, “So, God, what am I suppose to do? I need You to tell me what to do.
Church was so beautiful this morning, the music perfect, prayer flowing up to you, and a message that could only reach every heart and soul in the place. Except….”
Father God, “what do you want me to do? I know, at one time, I made a mess of things at church. I allowed myself to be hurt. Hurt so deep that I haven’t been able to allow Jesus to heal it all yet. My church friends have forsaken me. They do not know the whole truth, and what they do know makes them not trust me. They do not forgive me, or think they need forgiven. They do not see through the “plank” in their own eyes.”
“Jesus, even though my whole being wants to scream “Hmph”, and run away, I will listen to Your Holy Spirit within me, and keep on keeping on with You. I will listen for Your answer, on what I should do.”
Proverbs 19:11, Proverbs 17:9, Proverbs 18:19, Psalm 139:24, Luke 6:41, Proverbs 17:17 (all NIV)
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