Are we Choosing Coffee or Community?


Community --noun
Sharing, participation, and fellowship.


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

Since January,
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.

Uh, oh!

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.
Wow.



AND THEN!
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
and 
restore us to sweetness, 
reset our course,
and 
renew our passion for others.

I believe that we can have community over coffee,
but that 
my brew 
is less important to me 
than 
you





I learned another lesson, a practical one:
Be ready 1/2 an hour BEFORE company arrives.


Jaime

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19 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Leslie! Thanks for sharing your story.

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  2. Sometimes we forget it is about the people, don't we? We also get together every other Sunday for bible study! Must be a good night for fellowship!

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  3. Tears in my eyes! My Bible study group looked at some verses this week about hospitality, and how it is not about fancy food, lavish decor, a spotless house & etc. God's rearranging how I look at hospitality, and how I extend it to others. Lots of work to be done! :-)
    Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this...I think we can all get caught up in the preparations at times and forget that it is not really all about that. This was a great reminder.
    I am SO LOVING your blog each and every day!

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  5. So true. Reminds me of Martha and Mary... I get so caught up in being a Martha sometimes too. I am so glad you were able to make amends so quickly. Don't ya just heart friends like that?!?

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  6. Dear Leslie: Thanks for your honesty in sharing that story. I know I have been insensitive at times. At least you were quick to recognize it and I'm sure you will not ever do it again, even if your friend comes early. He puts people in our lives, that's for sure. Take care, Leslie.

    By the way, I LOVE the little coffee cups. Just love them.

    Regarding the award, I deeply appreciate it but I've decided to be an award free blog. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to tell you but I wasn't sure. I know another blogger may really love it so I'm going to pass. You are a real dear to think of me, though, and I appreciated it more than you will ever , ever know. Sincerely, Susan

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  7. Oh how wonderful you are for posting this. I have tears running down my face! Yes, we all can certainly be in the rush of the day or circumstance and miss what is truly important and blow. I call it "lots of output, hardly any input". That's when I grumble and crumble. Today for instance. Then I prayed. I was still a bit off. Told my husband what I needed. He said OK, he'd help me. Now my life and living begins all over again. Praise God!

    xoxo
    Kolein

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  8. I so appreciate your honesty and transparency. Yay for reconciliation and forgiveness!!!

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  9. Oh my friend, I love you! I feel your pain. I think we've all been there. But how cool that God turned it around for His greater glory. God is good!

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  10. Dear Leslie,

    This is such a touching post. Praise God for always knowing just how to turn a situation around to His glory. Thanks for your sweet comment. I have forgiven myself.


    Blessings to you sweet lady

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  11. What a lesson for us all. Thankyou! You have blessed my morning once again!
    xxx

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  12. I really love this post. I could almost visualize the face of your friend as I read about her sitting there outside the door. I love, love, love the way you take full responsibility and make no excuses. I tell ya... sincere, Godly sorrow for the hurt feelings of others is a powerful healing balm. Every time.

    I'm glad that I found this. Have no clue how, BTW... just ended up here somehow.

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  13. Oh, and I forgot to say that I'm envious. I would love to have a little homemade coffee bistro in my basement.

    Actually, I would really love to have a basement!

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  14. I think we've all gotten caught up in doing things that don't matter, making them more important than things that do. In fact I seem to be the master of that! thanks for sharing; it takes a BIG person to admit wrong and ask for forgiveness. Have a blessed day!
    Love Vanessa

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  15. I followed you over from VeteranKindergartenTeacher because you sounded like you had a real and true loving heart. I was right. I'll be following you from now on. Both you and your forgiving friend are an inspiration to us all...what a great example of friendship from both of you. God bless...Dustine

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  16. Your comments on my blog were so sweet, I had to thank you. Then when I read this post, I was inspired by you again! Thank you. What a good reminder for all of us. It takes a humble and good person to admit to such things. Thank you for sharing, I know I often say and do things that hurt others without meaning to. This was a wonderful eye opener for me. Thank you.
    And may God bless you, your home, and all found within.
    Cami

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  17. Oh Leslie what a touching story. Really I am glad you shared it. All is forgiven, lesson learning, life is not about everything being just right all the time. Have a great night!

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  18. girl, i have been there. my hope is that the Lord will not give up on me, and will keep on teaching me until my dying day. i love it when He uses others to teach us about ourselves and Him. Loving people like He does is just so hard.

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  19. what a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this lesson you learned. I love it. It was such a great reminder to me.

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