Photo Credit: Peggy James
I got his email and wanted to shout: “Hey, buster, does the phrase “continued behavior pattern” mean anything to you? But I didn’t.
Travis is at it again. His email revealed a litany of complaints about our neighborhood, our country road, our board officers, bad decisions made that will cost him money, yada-yada-yada.
Travis is a Christian brother but you’d never know it.
He is a large, loud man who shoots his mouth off as often as he shoots his guns back here in the hills. He interrupts at our road meetings and, like a typical hothead, he speaks truth but with a tone that makes me feel like I need to duck in case some of his words fly at me and smack me upside the face.
I thought we were making progress, but we’re not.
It is our rough road that brings us together. Last year we picked up the neglected pieces of our road association. We agreed to assemble once again to talk, make decisions, and improve our road.
It’s slow going!
That’s not fair; I’m too idealistic. I hate conflict. I just want all of us to get along. Will we ever get to the place of pot luck?
Travis reminds me of Jesus’ friend, Peter. How did Jesus handle him? Peter, a hothead, and quick on the draw, made mistakes. He must have hated himself when he failed his best friend. He quit and ran to his old fishing ways.
I wonder if that’s how Travis feels. Does he feel bad about himself? Is that why he can’t love us back?
What did Jesus do?
Jesus didn’t put Peter down or make him feel “less than”. He called Peter forth into being a strong, steady man. That’s what He spoke over him. He fed him breakfast.
Peter reached his full potential. We all can reach our full potential if we remember Jesus is for us. Each day gives us a new start.
We meet for business in the neighbor’s barn. I arrived early and joined some of the guys hobnobbing near the horses. Travis smiled and extended a friendly handshake. I placed my arms around his thick middle and gave him a bear hug instead.
You should have seen his face.
Immediately he whispered “I will never forget the first Christmas when some of us moved out here and you invited all of us over on Christmas Day. You cared.”
“It was a community effort, not just me,” I corrected. We laughed as I reminded him how I roped in the kids on the street behind me and made Christmas cookies with them. I bribed them with chocolate kisses if they would deliver our homemade party invitations to the neighbors.
Travis remembered from so long ago! Did it mean that much?
Love never gives up, never loses faith,
is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:7
I like to think that although we’re simple ragamuffins living back here in the hills, we can care for one another like that again.
I’m not giving up.
And you…hug a Meany this week. I double dog dare you.