Sunday, August 21, 2011
I felt as if this Sunday's message in church was meant at least in part for me. Our Pastor has been discussing in depth the meanings of the beatitudes, today was on mercy. How mercy is the source of forgiveness and forgiveness is the expression of mercy. Mercy should be extended to everyone and not just those we think worthy.
How was this directed to me? At the end of the sermon the Pastor made the comment that it was even for that crazy neighbor...oh, even them? Yes, even them.
Now, let me say right off that I don't mean to imply that my neighbors are crazy-we all have our moments and the incident may have been just one of those moments.
I mention often that I walk and really enjoy those walks. They give me opportunity to relax, get my exercise and capture some pretty interesting photos along the way. When I walk I don my hiking boots, my hip pouch of necessary items, pick up my camera and my walking stick and off I go. I was returning from one of these walks when I passed this neighbor. I assumed that she was going to the place she usually goes and since I had passed there already and knew the person residing there wasn't home I told her, he isn't home. What happened next I was not expecting. She turned on my and went off some deep end. She was cursing and carrying on as if I had just slapped her momma or kicked her dog. Taken aback I stood there for a few minutes listening to her rant and rage. When she demanded to know how I knew she was going there, I admitted that I didn't but..she interrupted to tell me that then I should just mind my own business. I'll admit that right there was when I had taken all I could stand. I told her point bland that since I owned that mobile home it was my business and I didn't want her down there (for various reasons I don't). I did say that if I had to I'd call and have her arrested for trespassing.
You know...in retrospect..I should have just shrugged this person off and walked away to start with instead of going into a verbal altercation with her. Her language got worse.. I think I learned some words that I don't want to know and the air got a bit darker blue and kinda nasty feeling. It gave me the feeling that I really needed a shower.
After I had told her that I could have her arrested for trespassing she threatened to have me arrested for harassment. About that time she was charging me as if to fight. (Now all of this was taking place in front of my brother's house and I was growing concerned that he might hear and being a protective big brother come out and try and get involved..luckily he didn't). As she is charging me I stood my ground watching her approach. (Remember-- I'm leaning on that long walking stick) I never changed my position, I didn't say anything, just watched her come at me. She got just so close and then stopped. Still ranting, still raving, still cursing up an ugly blue streak. She turned and stormed off in the direction she had been going before I dared to try and be neighborly and save her some steps.
I haven't seen this person since this happened. She is living in the mobile home directly in front of my parents, so I know we'll cross paths again..probably as I come back up the dirt road after one of my walks.
This is the person, that I am to show mercy, this is the person I am to forgive....as I have been forgiven of my many sins. The Pastor also said that even as we extend mercy, that does not mean it will be returned, not from them. But to forgive means to let go..and to let go, brings peace. I'd rather, much rather have God's peace than a self-righteous indignation over what happened..after a while, that grudge gets very heavy to hold.
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