I did something yesterday that hurt one of my sisters in Christ.
I am ashamed to admit what it is, because I love to come across
as a caring, loving, hospitable woman with impeccable manners.
But, I will confess what I did, in the hopes that
like Like James 5:16a (the first half of the verse) says:
'Therefore confess your sins to each other
and pray for each other so that you may be healed',
I can be healed.
Here's what happened
every other Sunday night,
my basement cafe' is open for my friends.
Together, we are studying:
As I was cleaning, straightening and making coffee,
one of the ladies arrived a lot earlier than the others.
She does this each week, and for some reason,
I had it in my head last night, that when I say 6:00,
I mean 6:00, and not a minute or more sooner.
So, I was rather irritated that it was not 6:00, or later.
When she came to the door, I told her that I was still preparing
for everyone and wasn't ready for her to come in yet.
I asked her to wait 5 minutes, right outside the door,
on a chair from our bistro set.
She looked at me in bewilderment and shock.
Hadn't I always let her in before?
Hadn't she had pleasant chats with me before the others arrived?
Hadn't she always asked if she could lend me a hand with preparations?
Haven't we know each other for many years?
Well, she turned around and sat down, and I shut the door.
I turned around and continued with my coffee-making.
Still grumbling to myself, that it's my home
and I can schedule things when I like.
That she should know it's rude to come early.
Then, I saw her get up and walk toward her car.
In my spirit, I realized that I had offended and hurt her.
I went outside to stop her, and saw her
riding away with another friend in our study.
How rotten I felt.
When the other ladies started arriving,
I mentioned to one of my closer friends what happened.
She took me outside and ever-so-sweetly said,
"It's not about making coffee, it's about people.
Maybe she was arriving early to share something with you only.
Something that maybe you alone could minister to.
You need to apologize to her and make no excuses."
She was right.
Don't you hate/love that?
Well, when my hurt friend arrived again, how relieved I was!
I told her I was happy she came back and remorsefully apologized.
She forgave me quickly.
And then, she prayed for ME!
I couldn't believe it.
She. prayed. for. me.
The second half of James 5:16 says:
"The heartfelt prayer of a believing person
is something powerful."
My hospitable heart was rotten yesterday.
My focus was off.
My behavior was insensitive.
And through the reminders of some lovely women I call my sisters,
I realized that we all are rotten, off, and insensitive sometimes.
But that when we are truly sorry, and confess our sins,
He truly can heal
restore us to sweetness,
reset our course,
renew our passion for others.
I believe that we can have community over coffee,
is less important to me
I learned another lesson, a practical one:
Be ready 1/2 an hour BEFORE company arrives.