Thursday, May 10, 2007

Don't Blow It


"Please forgive me and don't hate me." That's how the phone conversation started when she answered the phone. I had called a lady in our church whom I had known for several years. Not only did I know her, I had walked through some very difficult times of life with her. I had prayed for her, with her, been with her when she had cried over great losses, and offered advice when she asked for it.

Yet on this day, I called asking forgiveness. Why? Because she has been going through cancer treatments and I have not even attempted to contact her for months. It was not an intentional thing. I had thought of her often. I had seen members of her family at church and out in other places. I had even prayed for her. But I had not made any contact with her at all.

That night I put aside my insecurity and my fear of rejection (I knew she would forgive me, that's how she is) and made that call. I offered no excuses. I took responsibility and admitted my failure. She graciously said, "You know I could never hate you." I was very glad to hear it. She also said, "I will tell you it hurt though." That crushed me. I apologized again. She told me to quit it and said that even though I had not been there for her, I was here now, and that means a lot.

We talked for quite a while and I prayed with her before I hung up. I have prayed for her often since that night. I have even called. I will continue to check on her and offer to serve her in anyway I can. Why? Because serving is a lifestyle, not an event. Even when we get our life out of style, we can always return and pick up where we left off. Even when we blow it, we can make the call and ask for forgiveness. A servant's life is tough. We will fail. But we must learn from it, correct it, and move on.

Gotta go now. I need to make a call.

1 comment:

Teresa Crawford said...

Doug:

How awesome to be able to see your weaknesses and mistakes! Too often the church congregation assumes that the pastor makes no mistakes. Too often we forget that you too are human! How great it is to learn just how you right your wrongs! What a lesson for all of us to learn. And what a challenge it is for me personally to take on and be determined to serve others with such determination you have shown! Thanks so much for your sincere honesty. It will personally help me to be determined to let nothing stop me from serving others!

Your sister in Christ,
Teresa Crawford