I had a conversation today with a woman who was very upset about things not working as she planned. I listened to her vent and I acknowledged her feelings, even agreeing that they were valid. As we discussed resolutions for the situation she shared some of her story. She asked what brought me to Nebraska and I said that doors had closed where I was living and my husband and I made the move to our hobby farm. Something I said struck her and she began to ask me about spiritual things.
Why was Jesus called the Lamb of God?
Why did He say, ‘It is finished’ on the Cross?
I answered as simply as I could, explaining how Jesus was our sacrifice, giving of His life for us as gently as a lamb. How the Aramaic words for “It is finished” are the same words used to mark a bill as being “Paid in Full” and that was what Jesus did for us on the Cross. The more questions she asked, the more I answered. I found myself full of wonder and as the time went by I could hear the joy filling her voice as she spoke. It was such a blessing to me. By the time our conversation ended, hours later, she said she felt like she had been to church. She had a peace that was missing when we first began to talk.
She asked how I learned about the things I knew and I told her I studied on my own and with other Biblical teachers. Books and writers were exchanged and in the end she thanked me for taking the time to listen and respond with grace to her. I smiled, I knew her frustration at the beginning of the conversation was not directed at me and in the end it was important for her to know she mattered.
Our introduction was due to faulty processes and in the end, we found ourselves on mutual ground. Holy Ground. As we closed our time together she asked if I listened to God when He talked to me about helping others. I reflected at all the times I heard God speaking through my stories. O told her, “I often remember the words of St. Francis of Assisi, ‘Lord, make me an instrument.’ I am not saying anything because I am wise, but because I am willing to let God speak to someone through me.”
Precious Child of God, are you allowing God to use you to bring Him glory? Are you an instrument or are you trying to be the hand that holds the instrument? The sweetest blessing to me from my conversation today was that it wasn’t what I expected to do. I thought I was going to trouble-shoot a problem and then move on. But instead, God brought together two women who didn’t know each other, never knew the other existed until today, and in the end we were knit together as two sisters in Christ only could be. God moved and we responded. In the end there was a sweetness in the Spirit that hadn’t been present before.
“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
~St. Francis of Assisi