“Oh Mum, you should see the pergola out the back covered in wisteria! I think that’s what convinced me to buy the place! It’s so pretty. The townhouse is nice too, fairly up-to-date, nice kitchen and bathroom, not dark or dingy. The rest of the townhouses seem well cared for. I move in on Saturday.”
Jane held the phone between her shoulder and ear as she folded her washing and told her mother about the place she had bought.
“I can’t wait to get in there and make some friends and invite them to church. I hope it will end up like that community near your church where the complex is all Christians. Living with Aunt Liz has been great, but I’m really longing for some space of my own, and you know she’s not open to God Mum, it will be good to have a new mission field.”
Saturday morning, Jane arrived at her new home with her small U-haul truck and a team of helpers from her new church. The first thing she spotted was a couple kissing each other goodbye in the doorway next door.
The man pulled away and walked to his car. The woman stepped outside the door to wave to him.
Woman? That’s a MAN! Oh yuck yuck yuck! No! Oh Lord NO.
She looked again to be certain.
That is definitely a man. Women do not have biceps like that, and that is a man’s butt. Oh God! What have I done? How could you let me move in next to a gay couple! How will I ever witness to them? You know I came here to witness for you. Couldn’t you have helped me out just a little?
Jane turned abruptly from the scene. Her internal tantrum continued as she started directing her helpers, but she kept it to herself.
Once her furniture was all in the right rooms, and her boxes neatly stacked where they were labeled to be, Jane farewelled her helpers, assuring them she wanted to unpack alone. She went to the kitchen, grabbed a glass from the labeled box on the bench, filled it with water, and went to her back door, ready to stand under her pergola and restore her peace of mind by admiring her wisteria.
Eyebrows raised, mouth wide open, Jane felt herself blink in disbelief. The wisteria had shriveled, the leaves had dried up, and the flowers had dropped to the ground. She looked in horror at the vine, and realised that it had been sawed through at the base.
Why would someone do that? This must have been years old! God! You know how I loved this wisteria! This is why I bought the townhouse in the first place. What is going on God? First I find out there are gays living next door and now my wisteria is dead! Just what exactly have I done wrong? I came here to do good for YOU!
Jane lay down on the carpet and wept, banging her fists on the ground. First, her mission field had been destroyed, then her wisteria. Both things that she had thanked God for! Why would He let them be taken away! She let a guttural cry escape from her lips. She wanted to lie down on her back and flail her arms and legs like a two year old denied chocolate.
Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?
She stopped still. Where did that thought come from? Her spine tingled and she turned to make sure there was no one there. No one was. Looking back to the wisteria, her anger returned.
Of course I do! I bought this house because of the wisteria. I have every right to be angry. I’m so angry I could die.
You are angry about this vine, even though you did not help it to grow. You saw it once, considered it yours, and now you are angry that it is gone. You were attached to it for a few days. There are millions of gay people in the world. I have watched them grow from infancy. They need my salvation just as much as any other person on this earth. Will you fail to witness to them because of your prejudice? Or will you obey my call and witness to ALL people and love them as yourself?
Jane heard the thought, and began to consider it…
*Inspired by Jonah Chapter 4, NIV.
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