(This post was written yesterday, Tuesday, but didn’t get posted until today, Wednesday.)
Sometimes life here just wears me out and I don’t know what to do. Consider these three situations from the last 5 days. What would you do? What would Jesus do? What should I do? (And hopefully the “names” I’m giving people don’t confuse you too much. I don’t want anyone to be able to figure out who is who.)
1. On Friday, I heard that Lady 1 in the church, who is quite involved in church activities, had hit her daughter (who’s in her twenties and may have a slight mental disability), yanked off all her clothes, and took her sandals. (Oh, and by the way – hitting here is the normal way of disciplining your children. Either that or empty threats. But it’s not normal when your child is that old.) The daughter then ran away wrapped in a towel. The whole affair was over a boy, but each side has a different version of the story. Lady 2 and I went to Lady 1’s house to talk to her and ask her to allow her daughter back home and not to scream at her and hit her anymore. She agreed and the daughter came back. Today Lady 1 told me that her daughter now decided she wants to marry this guy, but that he’s not a Christian, though he said he’d be willing to convert to Christianity to marry her. What should Lady 1 do? What should I do? What would Jesus do?
2. On Monday, Man 1 came over. He is deaf and he is not a Christian. He is a carpenter and is poor, so I had hired him to make my bed a few months ago. Since then he has come over multiple times, and most of those times he asks for money for something or other. I have given him some money a few times, but I’m tired of people asking for money or gifts all the time and don’t want to be the fairy godmother or Mr. Moneybags. On Monday he came over again with sob stories – his bike is broken, so he walked here. He doesn’t have money for food. His knee has been having problems (which it has for a while), and he only had enough money to buy some of the medicine and care he needed for it. His daughter cut her foot on something, and they didn’t have money to take her to the hospital, so they just washed it and wrapped it up. He’s a carpenter but doesn’t have work since no one has hired him in a while. I had had him make my bed before, as I said. However, it seemed rather expensive to me, and wasn’t the best quality, so I had decided not to have him make anything else. But since he was so desperate, and I wanted a little shelf unit to put on my kitchen wall to have some storage space, I said I could give him that work. But the price that he quoted sounded very expensive, though he said that it’s a very low price compared to everyone else. I said that I didn’t have the money today but that when I was ready I’d call him. Today I went to another carpenter who had made other furniture for me and had done a very nice job. I told him what I wanted, and he actually thought we should add another shelf to the unit. The total price? Just over half of the price Man 1 had quoted. I gave the second carpenter the job. What would you do about Man 1? What would Jesus do? What should I do? I want to help, but I’ve helped a little before and, like I said before, don’t want to be a fairy godmother. Also, he, it at least appears, tried to rip me off on the price of the shelf unit while claiming it was a good price, cheaper than anyone around. I know he could use the money, but to a black and white western mentality, it makes me not want to help even less.
3. Today after Jula choir practice got out, Lady 3 came outside and started bashing Lady 4 in front of everyone else, saying that she had said bad things about Lady 3, and that Lady 4 didn’t respect Lady 3. Lady 4 tried to respond, but everyone around told Lady 4 to be quiet since Lady 3 was older than her. After quite a while of tense moments and lots of yelling, Lady 3 left. Then everyone agreed that Lady 3 had done the bad things that Lady 3 had claimed Lady 4 had said about her and everyone knew it. Everyone also said that often Lady 3 is a liar and picks fights. Part of the sermon on Sunday was from Matthew 18:15-17, where Jesus said that if a brother has sinned, you are to go that person alone. If they don’t listen, you should take one person with you. If they still don’t listen, you can bring the matter to the church. That is definitely not what Lady 3 did (who, by the way, has a position of leadership in the church), but then again Lady 3 wasn’t at church this Sunday. The others around today said that she probably didn’t come on Sunday because she was ashamed of the bad things she had done on Saturday (what this whole fight was about). I know Lady 3 and Lady 4 both very well. This isn’t the first time Lady 3 had tried to slander Lady 4. What would you do? What would Jesus do? What should I do? Oh, and I was told that I can’t say anything to Lady 3 either, since she’s older than me, too.
4. Today Lady 5 was supposed to come over at 8:00. By 10:00 she still hadn’t come, so I called her. She said that someone had called her and told her to wait at home for them, so she was waiting for them. I said that if that was the case, she shouldn’t come today at all and just come tomorrow. I took off for a break at the swimming pool instead – I needed it after all this nonsense! These people who were supposed to come to Lady 5’s house were her son-in-law and his uncle. You see, her daughter is married, but her husband is not a Christian. He doesn’t work and doesn’t provide for her and her children. He only gives enough money (sometimes) to make one meal a day. The other day, the daughter of Lady 5 went to a concert with her mom, and the son-in-law said that it was fine if she went. But it went late, and the doors were locked so no one could get out until after midnight. Lady 5 and her daughter went back to the daughter’s house, where Lady 5 dropped her off. The daughter knocked on the son-in-laws door for a few hours, but he never opened the door. Then Lady 5 went back to pick up her daughter and let her sleep the rest of the night at her house. When she dropped her off in the morning, the son-in-law had left and locked the door behind him. Lady 5 thought that perhaps this was basically a divorce, and that her daughter would now leave her husband and come back and live with her mom, which Lady 5 was glad about since she’s had it with the son-in-law. But now today I heard that the son-in-law and his uncle were coming to Lady 5’s house, so I don’t know what they were going to say. As I get together with Lady 5, what should I say? What would you do? What would Jesus do? What should I do?
Sometimes I wonder why I get tired so easily and feel worn-out. Other times I don’t wonder. But I must add, I did have a wonderful break at the swimming pool today, and got a chance to chill out (literally) for a few wonderful, calming hours. And somehow God knows what’s going on in each of these situations (and so many more). He’s placed me in each of them, only I don’t always know what He’d have me do to shine His grace and truth into the lives of hurting people.