Our youth group, leaders, and I were preparing a meal to serve our congregation before a Lenten worship service, and I had invited my unique friend Beth* to join us. As our group was happily and busily working, Beth walked into the dining area where people were gathering.
There, Beth had one of her moments. For reasons we don’t understand, she was fearful of a dear, gentle friend who also worked at the church, and she began to curse him. Our work in the kitchen was interrupted when another church member came in, holding Beth’s arm to escort her out the door. She looked at me with wide eyes, silent and scared.
I wrapped my arms around her, explained that she was my friend, and promised I would watch out for her if he would let her stay. He continued to move toward the door. Desperately, I told him that if she left, I would, too. (I was supposed to give the sermon and serve Communion that evening.) He yelled, “I’m tired of your b~!” and took her out.
My pastor was counting on me to serve in his absence, so I reluctantly stayed. With so many inner emotions, I gave the sermon message… and served Communion to the man who had taken her away. After the service, my son and I found Beth outside, and we gathered around her with the laughter that arises from relief.
Later I learned from a few parents that their teens told them about the lesson of love they learned that day. Perhaps this encounter offered more than any lesson I had ever prepared and shared with them.
May I always be loudest in love, in kindness, in compassion… and in forgiveness.
*Here are some additional posts about my friendship with Beth:
Five Minute Friday: Mercy
A Tribute to Beth
(This post is part of an online writing community, “Five Minute Friday.” We are given a one-word prompt and five minutes to write. I hope you check out the excellent posts at the site listed under the image!)
so sorry that happened, but I do love how nothing is in vain with the Lord and He can use anything to turn hearts. and yes, may our loudness be our Christlikeness.
Thank you, Mariel, especially for the reminder that God can use all things for good!
Karen, wow. All I can say is that Beth was so blessed to have a friend like you
Fear is born of anger,
and anger begets fear,
and they whirl like dancers
when the unfamiliar’s near,
and we cannot rebuke them
because their ears are closed;
nor can we reject, condemn
for this question must be posed:
is this a vicious paradigm
of which we’re sometimes part?
Have we spoken words designed
to break The Other’s heart,
to show contempt for difference
and thus display our ignorance?
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Thank you, Andrew. You have added so much significance to my short post with your words. And I am taking your question to heart- what has been MY contribution to this vicious paradigm? Ouch… thank you.
I’m so sorry you had to go through that! It’s so hard to love people these days, isn’t it? But may our love drown out the loud of hate wherever we go!
Thank you, Anita! Yes- “may our love drown out the loudness of hate.” That is a great way to word it!
I can’t help but think that you experienced the realest type of communion that night. Remember that Christ very likely served communion to Judas (some believe that Judas had already left, so maybe not).
“May I always be loudest in love, in kindness, in compassion… and in forgiveness.” Amen!!
Amie, FMF #14
Thank you, Amie. I felt such a deeper appreciation for Communion that night- yes, the bread was broken for everyone, even Judas. (And oh, the times I have been “Judas”…) I am so thankful.
Sometimes the Lord puts people in our lives that are harder to love just so our loving them anyway Glorifies our Lord❣️By our giving a strong message to others, we get an even stronger one back to ourselves❣️🤗
You are so right, dear friend. 🥰
Sorry to hear about this. It must have been hard to carry on after such incident. It was nice that you managed to do your task regardless. I hope everything is okay with your friend now.
Thank you for your kind words! My friend and I were okay after that incident. She died last year, and I love that she is so blessed now!