I stood at the window and wished misunderstandings could dissolve as easily. Not long ago one of our church members had spoken to me about a hurtful comment from another member. It likely hadn’t been intentionally unkind, but it caused the person to consider leaving the church. Why is the pastor’s wife the one people confide in? My husband’s the one trained for this. I hate being in the middle of conflicts. My stomach tilts, my palms go damp and diplomatic words elude me. “Oh, please give me your words, Lord!”
God is always faithful. Though I don’t recall them later, words did come, wrapped in compassion born of love, and I left the rest to Him. I don’t understand why there is unpleasantness and discord in His church; only He knows the hearts of His people and His plans for them.
The morning fog reminded me of The Message’s version of 1 Corinthians 13:12 – “We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”
A little mist on a lazy holiday morning isn’t a big deal. But in relationships, fog-shrouded vision can cause distorted communication and misunderstandings. Lack of correct focus can blur the edges of common sense. With singleness of purpose we must try to walk in the light of God’s love and strive to develop and apply the fruits of the spirit* in all our relationships.
“Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” [Ephesians 6:23-24]
* “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” [Galatians 5:22-23a]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carol J. Garvin is the wife of a retired Presbyterian pastor, mother of four and grandmother to several more. Her life has been a wonderful mixture of school teaching, church and family activities, owning a professional dog show business, and freelance writing. She and her husband live in a rural suburb of Vancouver, Canada.