Friday, September 28, 2012
Division and conflict come again
The end of another week is coming. Some end the week at Friday and some on Sunday. Doesn’t matter to me as they all fly by so quickly. We have rain, lots of rain. That means we will have weeds, lots of weeds. But it’s good. One of these years we will have a catch basin dug that will catch tens of thousands of gallons of this precious resource. Till then I have barrels and containers around to catch run off from the roofs.
We had a disturbing thing happen yesterday. It caught me totally by surprise. One of the things we have noticed in our life is how adept the enemy is at causing division and disrupting relationships. We have seen otherwise good people suddenly view us as enemies or develop an animosity that belies reason. I am sure that at times my faults contributed to this but the more it happens the more I understand there is more to it than that.
So I am at the property of one of the seniors we spend time helping out. I have been cutting firewood for her and chopped down some of the many dead trees that litter the property. A natural result of this is lots of small branches that need to be disposed of. Without a trailer and now with all three of my trucks out of commission, moving the growing piles of branches is something beyond my ability. Plus having lost three weeks due to hurting my back and then spending four days at the prison slowed things down. Because of that I have not been on the property for over a month. Was able to make it out there Wednesday and then again yesterday. Her cats hadn’t been fed for some time as the trays were long since cleaned out so I fed them. I watered all the potted plants she had out and turned the pile of compost, then went to work with the chain saw.
We had cut up one of the Israeli cantaloupe into nice small pieces for her but she didn’t answer when I knocked on the door. At noon the people who had introduced us to her came to give her a ride to the hair dresser. “Great” I thought. “I’ll be able to see her” and I hurried to the car. When she expressed a great deal of anger towards me it was like I had been slapped in the face. She seemed to feel that I had been told about picking up a pile of branches but I don’t recall that at all. With the memory loss issues I must wrestle with that does not surprise me but there was more going on here than that.
This is our old burn barrel that has rusted away.
It appears that someone has been whispering in her ear, planting all kinds of negative thoughts. They apparently desire to drive a wedge between us and I suspect I know the reason why. I watched my family take advantage of my grandmother years ago as she neared the end of her life. We lived fifteen hundred miles away so I was helpless to stop it. But it broke our hearts to see the greed and selfishness of those who were supposed to love their relatives. The rifts caused by that still exist. It’s a story that has been told a thousand times with a thousand different versions, but the roots are all the same. They are greed and opportunity provided when others are weak, dependent, and easily manipulated. How God hates this kind of thing.
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16)
I sent the individual involved a text message, saying we loved her and were praying for her. I asked if she had a relationship with God. This was after receiving an angry phone call with her yelling so hard I had to hold the phone away from my ear. Mind you this was not the widow we were helping out yelling at me but a niece in law who has developed an increased interest in “caring” for the widow. At this point I guess there is not much we can do other than pray.
And this is the new burn barrel that fell off a truck as it went past the farm. God is good and supplies our needs.
There have been so many people we have met and then watched as they went from being friendly to not. There were many motivating factors in these things, from greed to jealousy. At the core I suspect it has been the work of the devil, who wants to steal kill and destroy all that is good. There seems to be an upswing in divisions and bickering all over these days, almost like the devil has been unleashed to cause as much havoc as possible.
Jesus left us with one main command. It is found in John chapter 13, right after he washed His disciples feet. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
This seems to be simple enough, a pretty basic and easily understood command. But as simple and plainly clear as it is this is evidently one of the hardest commands to carry out. I say that because the reality is I see very little evidence of that kind of Love practiced by those who wear the name of “Christian”. Don’t get me wrong, I do see lots of true love expressed but it is far out shadowed by all the bickering and conflict we see in the church these days. How hard it is to love some but Jesus did not say it would be easy or that we should only love those who are lovable. He said “As I have loved you, so you MUST love one another”. That means we love those who abuse us and mistreat us. That is hard. Love means to choose for the highest good of the other and the highest good is that they be found pleasing on that day the stand before the judgment seat.
Barrels full of valuable rain water
Unfortunately we had been counting on getting the firewood we need for the winter from this widows property but that is now in doubt. Considering our primary source of heat is wood it might be a real cold winter. We will now pray and hope that God will provide a source of firewood. If any of you readers have some trees to cut down let me know.