Love Your Enemies and Grow Like Heck
I’m about to have a God is awesome moment on the blog. If you aren’t religious, you may want to stick around anyway because what I’m about to share is just general good karma/doing the right thing kind of stuff. And if you are interested in generally being a good person, whether you are religious or not, this still can apply.
I’ve mentioned on this blog a number of times a person at work who over the years has done a number of things to make my work life difficult and about two years of hell dealing with her and her nasty ways.
I’ve also mentioned that recently she’s been having a very bad year, bad health in her family, deaths, and difficulties at work. I’ve said I take no joy in her having such a tough time, and my prayer has been to see her humanity and put the past behind me.
Well I had that opportunity. I noticed she’s been out of the office a lot and I stopped by her office to tell her about a new food truck she’d probably like. Well she told me she just returned from a funeral of a loved one and she is drained. The work she left behind for those who were supposed to help her wasn’t done and she basically has to start all over and is several days behind.
She looked tired, and haggard and defeated.
I told her that I was really sorry for such a loss in her family and that usually word gets around the office and that I hadn’t heard anything at all. She said that she felt slighted that no one really offered any support or rallied around her the way others have been treated in similar situations.
While I felt bad for her, in my mind, I knew what it was. Her past behavior, her disregard for other people’s feelings, her negative attitude and unnecessary cattiness and delight in other’s misfortunes turned a lot of people off and now people’s inaction and indifference toward her, during her difficult times is speaking volumes.
So there’s me.
I’ve probably suffered at her hands more than anyone in the entire place.
But as someone who identifies as a Christian (yes, I do. I have A LOT OF WORK), this person being in my life has been a real test. A huge one. God has used this person to stretch me beyond belief. God used this person to make me fight for myself and stand up for myself and show that humility and patience and favor is a very real thing. And as long as I didn’t lower myself, the people who mattered would see and do the right thing at the right time.
And since our troubles, I’ve been promoted twice and when we all had our salaries cut, I was one of the few people able to negotiate to get my money back some months later. God was positioning me. He blessed me to have a great schedule and be able to work from home. He was working on something greater in the midst of a really tough struggle. But folks around me saw that I didn’t have to lower myself, or put her down. My actions and how I chose to react to hers spoke for the both of us.
But the truly amazing thing about God is when he wants to teach us a lesson, he doesn’t stop at one point. He keeps it going.
When I talked to that co-worker yesterday, something in my heart said, get her a card and a little gift. It doesn’t have to be anything big.
So I went to one store and didn’t see anything.
Then I went to Target. I bought a cheap card and carefully looked at the wording. One of the cards, I laughed and said, “Now I’d be lying, so let’s keep this simple.”
Then I looked around for something simple. And found a cute little box of chocolates in the clearance. Between the card and the chocolates I spent less than $5 dollars.
I got to her office before she arrived and left the chocolates and card on her desk.
About an hour or so later I got an email of her thanking me and saying she cried.
That touched me. Because I knew it wasn’t me, it was God using me to bless someone else. And it doesn’t take much, because even though I was being led and pulled to go get a card and some candy, and I obeyed that, I was also saying, “Lord, I know you are leading me, but this ain’t gonna be expensive. I ain’t spending but x amount on her. You brought me a long way, but nah. I ain’t make it that far.”
Her reaction today made me think about God’s love and mercy toward me. He really leaves the past in the past and does not hold my ugliness against me, but still continues to give to me and bless me when I don’t even deserve it, and when I neglect doing what I’m supposed to do for him. We do jerky things, we can treat each other terribly and tear one another down with harsh words. But we wake up to new mercies everyday, with a chance to start over. We have homes, food, clothing, health and family and friends.
I’m blessed. I’m about to spend five days in Curacao next week and celebrate a dear friend’s birthday. I know people who didn’t live to see 31. I know people who have never left where they are from to see something new and me and my friends this summer have been able to visit great places all over this world and try new things. I have an education and a brain and an opportunity to work in an industry that has been hit hard over, and over and over again.
God has protected me and provided for me. I can live independently and pay my own bills every month. My needs are supplied.
I feel great joy today for my blessings and just knowing you can do something small and it can make a difference to someone else. God used me to send a message to my co-worker and I’m proud of that.
It isn’t about her and it isn’t about me.
So if you feel compelled in your heart to reach out and do something for someone, don’t even start making the list of things they’ve done to you or for you. See the hurting heart. Understand that you needed and appreciated a blessing no matter where it came from, you just knew you needed it. If you really feel a pull at your heart to do something for someone, even a person who was against you and treated you poorly, you do it. God is working on YOU by working THROUGH you. He’s helping you grow through that moment of obeying what’s in your spirit and going beyond yourself and your limited sense of human justice and karma.
That’s the end. Do some good today, yall. It can be the tiniest thing that makes a huge difference. Spread love.