BY JOYCE PELLETIER
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
As I read these words, I am reminded of a situation I had recently.
My neighbor of 94 recently passed away. Her daughter came up from Georgia several months ago to take care for her. She is one of those persons who speaks her mind, whether it fits or not. There were a few times when she spoke her mind and it just didn’t set right with me. It put me on the defensive.
She was upset about the way we mow our lawn. She didn’t like the leaves on the ground. She was very vocal about how it should be done. My reaction in my inner being was defensive and held many unkind thoughts; yet I never vocalized it to her. My thinking was that the leaves just started to shed from the trees. It’s too early to rake. Our grounds people would take care of them when the time was right. She didn’t agree with that thinking. Frustration blocked my thinking. Yet I stayed quiet about what I was thinking.
Several days later, as she was walking back from the mailboxes, She stopped and started to chat about her mother. I asked her how long she was going to be able to stay. I could see the sadness in her face and that she was struggling. Rightfully so! She responded, “I’ll stay until Mom passes.”
My response was, “I’m so glad you are able to be here for her.” I saw grace in this situation and God gently reminded me to be still and silent about my recent experience with her. It was pointless anyhow.
The frustration from the previous encounter seemed to vanish as I saw the difficulty she faced in dealing with her impending loss. She was fighting to be strong, but she was just needing understanding, love and peace.
Once her mother passed, we chatted a few more times more and the wedge that was between us just wasn’t there anymore. I could understand her pain. I lost my parents and brother, so I knew her pain. Every one of us react differently to grief. This encounter convicted me I needed an attitude adjustment, not my neighbor’s daughter. It also showed me the need in another and their need for God as well as my own.
As Galatians states that we should live by the Spirit, we should “keep in step” with the Spirit as well. He will remind us of what we may need to do or say, because we are not our own. I’m so grateful to God for the lessons in knowing when to speak and when to be silent. Learning to pick my battles.
As we journey through Ephesians in our iConnect groups, the first few paragraphs tell us that God predestines us to become His Sons and Daughters. We never know how our existence affects others. As for my friend, she’s back home, mending from her loss, and like me, I am hoping she finds and responds to God’s blessings waiting at the door of her heart. I pray we all continue to “Keep in Step” with Jesus, as He has so much love for us.