We have meetings to hear all the sides and to keep pushing to a place of simply able to coexist, sometimes.
Such is the environment of working in or calling a homeless shelter a home.
Different dilemmas and dynamics all get together after nearly falling apart and landing like the big fairy tale egg at our doorstep. Mothers, women, daughters and sons, different paths scattered by different ways.
I dreaded a meeting; but, knew it had to be and we all gathered, three of us who do the work and an objective listener.
The agenda set with a plan of issues to clarify, I walked up on the big porch of the historic home now a shelter, steps flanked by lush ferns to greet our families coming home.
I had not planned to do so; but, I used my sometimes negative attitude and demeanor as an example…spoke of how I’m sometimes prone to stomping in and taking charge, of correcting whatever might be wrong.
“I’m guilty of that.” I said, of being all puffed up because the ferns on the porch didn’t get watered.
The three of them smiled and for a minute or two, I believe simply called to mind things and attitudes they know were theirs.
Sometime ago I heard a sermon on the Beatitudes. The radio preacher, essentially said that the proclamations in these verses are how we as Christians should live.
“And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:3-11
These days we’re living in everyone knows most of how another is feeling and believing.
Bandwagon faith or fault finding.
There’s a big mindset I believe, toward declaring oneself a “believer ” of everything. We set the tone for loving all, embracing, all. I suppose erring on the side of not finding any error at all.
Far be it from us to question or debate one’s belief over ours, we fear being called judgemental or condemning.
It’s a delicate walk for the Christian who boldly cherishes God’s word.
Cherishes it, truly.
Especially, the red words.
It’s going to continue I’m afraid, so we’ll need to learn to be peacemakers.
Be more peaceable people.
We’ll need courage to say what we believe and we’ll need to check our attitudes.
We all stumble in many ways. One leans over, we lean too and there we go falling down that slippery slide of holier than they.
I told a friend yesterday about sitting with someone whose ideas and beliefs are different from mine, talking about fathers and how we loved. We talked about family junk, favorites, keeping score and grief.
We both knew.
We found common ground and that common ground path led to my sharing how I came to a place of acceptance in the very similar struggle we share.
I told her about prayer and God and she listened to me share the things that keep me sane, grow my assurance of and faith in God.
It was a pleasant exchange, unprompted.
Pleasant, because it came from her inviting. Her struggle led to my sharing, her listening led me to continue.
This is why I’m certain Jesus taught peacemaking as the way.
Judgement, avoidance or questioning our differences would not have led to our warm goodbye.
I said, “I’ll pray for you.” she said.
Maybe we listen for invitations to share, not kick open the doors to demand a listen.
Lots of people say “love wins” or is “the answer”.
I’m telling you, though, I believe it’s peace.
I believe it’s peace, peace they will see.
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
Hebrews 12:14 ESV
I’m linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee to share His Story.