After several days of talking, praying, and contemplating, I had to make a decision which ultimately resulted in a phone call to a good friend. I had to back out of a commitment I had made to her. I was dreading the call, because, while I hoped that she would be understanding, I knew that there was a chance she might be upset.
I prayed before I called her...."Lord, please help her to hear my heart and to know that I am not doing this vindictively. Help her to understand my reasons. Give me the words to say and may they be said with truthfulness and gentleness, no matter what the outcome..."
As I dialed, my heart was beating (I am a slightly anxious person....okay, that's an understatement...I'm a very anxious person).
When I heard her voice, we made small talk. After a few minutes, I began telling her what was on my heart. I waited anxiously for her speak.
Let's just say I was so humbled by her response. She was incredibly understanding. She wasn't angry or upset. She understood my reasons and she said she had actually been thinking about what the commitment would mean for not only me, but our family. Bottom line: She was gracious.
As I thought about it this morning, I was reminded afresh that Christ calls us to live in this way. We are to be "a friend that loves at all times." Christ has shown us love, grace, and mercy time and time again. Who are we to withold that from one another? Let us always be friends, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, husbands and wives who live out Christ's love. And to my gracious friend, who may or may not be reading, thank you.
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."