"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." (New Living Translation)
May we never forget!
"Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." James 3:18 This verse was included in Pastor Dave's message this morning and as God does with me sometimes -- He had me "sowing" less than 2 hours later --- when I thought I was going to our church picnic and have the opportunity to just sit and visit with friends. Think again!
Divorce is never a peaceful event. For all of us who have experienced it -- no matter how determined you both might be that it will be a peaceable ending --- think again. If we were able to make it a peaceable ending we wouldn't have had it end in the first place!
Years ago friends of our got divorced. They hadn't been married all that long but it was still "unpeaceful" (if that's a word?) and we became closer friends to the man than the woman. It just happened, we didn't really "take sides" but we lived closer to him and it the friendship just grew. For a few years it was the 3 of us everywhere. Where you found Monty and I you would find him and vice versa.
One evening that we were just "the two of us" planning on having a quiet dinner together we were "greeted" by his ex-wife. She was more than a bit angry and let me know it, in no uncertain terms and directly in my face. From that time on there was a distance between us and in fact I don't think we'd even seen her since then.
Until today! She came to the church picnic! Yes, I was more than shocked but was in for even more. Monty came and told me she apologized to him and wanted to do the same with me. I had tried to be cordial as we helped get food organized on the tables but admittedly found it difficult. I was "civil" but not much more. And now he's telling me she wants to talk with me and apologize.
"Peacemaker" is a name that people have called me in the past and today put it to the test! I did go to her and expected a quick apology at which point I would forgive and that would be that.
But God . . .
She wanted to "take a walk" and so off we went on the local park's trail. I don't know how long we were gone because not only did we walk the entire thing - we sat on one of the benches for quite some time. In fact, when we got back to the picnic it was all done, the tables and chairs were loaded in the back of my truck and everyone was gone!
What did I learn today? First of all -- be careful what Pastor Dave preaches because he does have an inside line to God!
Second -- when he does preach -- pay very close attention as I am going to be tested later -- and not a written test!
Third -- being apologized to can feel a bit uncomfortable -- but the way to bring in comfort is to forgive!
Fourth -- and most important -- It IS a blessing to build a bridge of understanding and communication than to build walls!
I thank God for this opportunity to become closer to someone I didn't really know very well in the first place and I thank Him for giving me the words I needed to minister to her --- His Word through my heart and out of my mouth through her ears and into her heart!
She felt better. I felt better. And so the picnic for us had a different definition than for others but you know what . . . ours was a great picnic!
"Where two or three are gathered . . . " He WAS in the midst of us! Thank you Lord!
PS --- hey Pastor Dave --- how about giving a girl a head's up on your future sermons so I can be ready!!?? :)
Until next time . . . blessings to our New Jersey team as they travel today!
Oh yes --- Monty's birthday party last night was amazing -- he said the best he's ever had! The kids went out of their way --- 2 cakes complete with candles, cards, signs, presents, songs and enough love to nearly drowned the man! We are so blessed to have this family as our family!!!!!!! We love you all and can't wait until we get together again!!!!!!!