Monday, November 9, 2009

Lessons in love

I wanted to share something that God taught me a couple of weeks ago. This was just over 2 weeks ago after a grade nine girl in town committed suicide. It hit the town hard. There was a lot of talk going around. A friend of mine made a comment on facebook about the idea of suicide being a selfish act. I knew right away that she didn’t mean it badly…she is known for making deep, thought provoking comments. Not everyone took it that way however & there was one in particular who replied very harshly…berating her for saying such a thing & accusing that a true Christian doesn’t judge. I felt very strongly that I needed to reply to this but I really didn’t know how. I knew what my friend meant about suicide being selfish, but I also understood how it could be misunderstood & make people upset. It made me angry that someone would reply so hypocritically…telling her not to judge, yet judging by saying so.

I put my fingers on the keyboard…searching for words…asking the Lord for wisdom about what to write. It took 15 or 20 minutes to write a few short sentences. I typed…then erased half of it…tried again & erased again. I felt very strongly that I needed to defend my friend, but that I had to be very careful not to judge in the same way, by doing so. A couple of times while I was writing I had the “urge” (ie: Satan whispering in my ear) to plug in a line about being careful not to accuse someone of something you’re doing too. Each time that came to mind though, God reminded me that I needed to respond in love. “But God…she needs to understand how hypocritical her response was.” “That’s my job, not yours.” When I finally felt good about what I wrote I prayed one more time…asking God to use my words. It wasn’t very many minutes later that I received a message from the girl who had responded to my friends comment. (If you don’t know about facebook…people can comment back & forth on each other’s status’, but messages are only between the sender & receiver.) I do not know this girl. I only know that she responded harshly to my friend’s status.

This was the message I received: “Just wanted to say that your words concerning the death of **** were eloquent and had the absolute essence of the situation. I removed myself from the comments because I think your words explained it all. I mean no disrespect to any parties. Only hoping all understand how comments can be misjudged.“

Wow Lord! I sure didn’t do that…it was all you!! It felt so good to receive that message. I had listened to what God was telling me…respond in love, not anger…and He allowed me to see the benefits of that. I feel like I’m not doing the story justice here. It was very surreal to me. That message brought tears to my eyes & a feeling in my heart that this was something pretty special that I was experiencing. I wasn’t at all expecting that kind of response. I was fully expecting her to lash back, but instead my words (God’s words!) got through. Thank you Lord for allowing me to see first hand that it is worth it to listen to your prompting & to respond in love! Even though I knew that in theory before…it became so much more real to have it happen. I pray that I won’t soon forget that lesson!!!


Cheri said...

Thanks for the reminder Heidi! It is so easy to get worked up about things and just say what pops into your head. Your story is inspirational.

Beckie & Trevor Muirhead said...

I agree 100% with Cheri.... I'm definitely known for responding 'passionately' to things.... Actually, I'm responding with selfishness; giving in to my selfish desire to spout off.... I know the situation you're talking about and I got my back up about it too.... I wanted so badly to say something harsh in return. I'm so glad you took the high road, Heidi.... I hope I can remember your example the next time I want to respond 'passionately!'