Off the Cliff
The ground gave way underneath her and the phone fell from her hand. Caroline couldn’t believe what she was hearing. He’d lost his job?! The company simply closed its doors with no warning?! She had been out of work long enough that everything was already stretched to the limit. Outstanding medical bills and repairs to their beater of a car, and they had already driven every cent out of their bank account. They were so behind on the mortgage…this just could not be happening.
Love Has a Rope
Her doorbell rang. Stacy didn’t wait for a response but walked on in. “I just heard,” Stacy said. “I’m so sorry, Caroline. This is unreal.” She sat down on the floor beside Caroline and held her. “I’m here, and I’m with you through all of this. You are not alone.”
Love Throws a Rope
Stacy had lost everything through a divorce some years ago. She vividly remembered the day she packed her two kids, and everything she could, into her car and headed to the women’s shelter. She, herself, wasn’t in the clear yet but was definitely back on solid ground. She knew the potential uphill climb Caroline and her husband were facing and vowed she would be there in any way she was able.
Stacy hadn’t known Caroline back then. Others had buoyed her, encouraging her and providing what she could not for her kids. “I don’t have any financial answers, but I do have life experience and hope. I can help navigate some of the rockier parts of this mountain. I don’t have much to offer, but what I do have is yours,” she said.
Love IS the Rope
Caroline pulled back from Stacy’s embrace. A strange peace seeped into her heart. “I don’t know how that helps so much, but it does,” Caroline said.
Stacy stayed with her that night until her husband made it home. She put a few frozen pizzas in their freezer for when they needed them. She helped make phone calls to creditors. She looked for what was needed and provided what she could. Stacy rallied others just as others had done for her.
Accepting the charity of friends and strangers was unfamiliar to Caroline. She was always the one to put money in the offering plate, not the one who needed to take it out. But she recognized that when you are falling, and someone offers, you only have to stretch out your hand and grab the rope.
Love always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:7
#bethelove #betherope #loveinaction
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I needed a new attitude with this person really badly. I didn’t know if it was them, me, hormones, or the heat wave. I did know that if my heart continued down the road it was on, it would be devastating to our friendship.
I did something I don’t make a huge practice of but has worked for me some in the past. I prayed for guidance, took a deep breath, and opened my Bible at random.
Oh dear. Seriously?
First Corinthians 13. AKA The Love Chapter.
Yes, yes, Love above all. Love is patient and kind; not envious, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered; keeps no record of wrongs; doesn’t delight in evil; always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres; and never fails. The greatest thing is love.
I got it.
My friend is patient with me, and kind…not rude or self-seeking….does keep a record of wrongs but doesn’t delight in evil. My friend does protect, sometimes trusts, maybe hopes, maybe perseveres a little.
“How about you?”
Me? I’m awesome at loving this person! I’m patient and kind…most of the time. Okay, maybe I’ve slacked off in that a little. I’m not envious, boastful or proud, except, maybe, when I’m right. I’m not rude. Well, there was that one time. But other than that… I’m not sure I like where this is going.
“You do still love that person. You’ve just forgotten how. Their love for you is as imperfect as yours is for them. Love that they try. Notice the little things. You are called to be a messenger of My Love. You need to know how to do it and do it well. It will make all the difference. Go and ponder My Love today and I will handle everything else.”
Okay. Love my friend as well as I can and always try to love better.
Hmmm. I wonder what the chances are that they’ve read First Corinthians 13 lately…
Creating Systems for Courageous Kindness
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