Rev. Estelle Margarones
Each of us is a unique and integral part of the whole of humanity and the entirety of creation. For anything in the natural world to bear fruit, there needs to be an interaction. This is true of things and ideas. Positive interactions tend to bear great fruit and negative interactions tend to stunt growth by virtue of being limiting.
When coming from a place of love, we tend to be open and receptive. When approaching anything with anger, we tend to shut out, shut down, or steer clear.
Over the years, I’ve learned to take very little at face value. I know that each of us carries a tremendous amount of experiences into everyday life.
I met a miserable woman earlier today. She was cranky, rude, and critical. The phone rang twice during our brief interaction and she said, ‘it’s like a zoo here!’ When I left her workplace, I thanked her for her help and told her that I hoped her day wouldn’t be too busy. She shot back that that was already down the drain.
I can’t help but wonder what made her so sour. Was she in pain? Overworked? Overlooked? Underappreciated? Was she unsupported? Was she afraid? Had she had an unpleasant encounter just prior to my brief contact with her?
When two people connect, we bring whatever we’ve just dealt with into our next conversation, meeting, or transaction. In truth, it’s not usually just two people connecting, it’s often three or even four. Think about it, instead of Dick and Jane having a conversation, it’s Dick and Jane (and the influence of Dick’s boss--who just cut Dick’s expense account….and the influence of Jane’s sister who just called Jane with some concerning medical test results).
If we’re anxious about something coming up, that also tends to impact our interactions. Imagine the same scenario as above, but with the added knowledge that Dick is leaving tomorrow night for a business trip to South America and Jane’s annual physical was moved from next week to next month because of a scheduling error.
I can’t know why the woman I met was so mean. I will never know what was on her heart or mind, but I do know that I could react to her in a way that was healing and helpful. Even though I’d already been gentle and I’d expressed my gratitude; I got the sense as I was writing this that I was supposed to call the woman and thank her again. Though I may sometimes feel awkward about whatever Spirit is prompting, I’m at a place in my life where I no longer question it.
I looked up the phone number, and in a best-case scenario, got voicemail. I was able to leave a message telling her how much I appreciated her assistance and that I was impressed with her thoroughness. Maybe the office voicemail is shared and her supervisor will hear it. Maybe she’ll press 9 to save the message and listen to it again on another tough day. Or may she just deleted it, annoyed that she even had to take the time to listen to it. But I did what I could. That’s all any of us can do.
Each of us can change someone’s day for the better--every single day. Will you open yourself to God’s will for your life? Will you let yourself be led, moment by moment, trusting and following Spirit’s direction? If you will follow, with every interaction, you may well be nurturing the growth of the fruits of the Spirit!
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.
Matthew 23:12 Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of others.
Ephesians 4:31-32 All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return…
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