We were invited to a friend's house yesterday. This couple opened their doors to a community of people. They knew that not everyone would become best friends.
There was a person there who, I believe, has for whatever reason come to dislike me. It had been blatantly obvious in their actions. It was especially evident as I heard them mutter, "who invited them?" as we were taking off our shoes.
Needless to say, I was aghast. My feelings are hurt. Really hurt. I am broken. I have tried telling myself that isn't what they really said. But the truth is, those were the words spoken.
How can someone be that mean? How can someone be that hurtful? It wasn't like it was said in a corner and someone else overheard and told me. No, I heard it come from their mouth, in a room full of people.
I'm not always nice. And maybe I have said something similar that someone has overheard. I can't be the pot calling the kettle black.
But it doesn't make it hurt any less.
Especially in a place where we were coming together for love and community.
Lately, I have been thinking about the phrase, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Oh the truth in that.
Especially after coming back from a mission trip.
Does this person know me? What caused them to say these words? Are they afraid?
I just read through a devotion with Psalm 145 as the scripture. The verses didn't strike a particular chord in me, but the devotion that went along with it did. The writer talks about how anger is like a boat floating on a sea of fear.
Maybe this person is afraid. Afraid of having fun. Afraid of the freedom I have. Afraid of my confidence.
It's the last phrase of this devotion that helped me most, "God loves us steadfastly, unconditionally, gently, freely".
No matter what, I have to remember that it doesn't matter whether or not a particular person loves me. It's my faith that should I focus on and not worry about what others think or say to me.
I've been thankful to friends before, and today I am thankful for those who stand by me and for those who love me, and especially for those who have kept their mouth shut unless they have something to say that I need to hear. Also, for those who work to make the world a better place by saying kind words. And loving unconditionally and loving their neighbors.