Our youth group, leaders, and I were preparing a meal to serve our congregation before a Lenten worship service, and I had invited my unique friend Beth* to join us. As our group was happily and busily working, Beth walked into the dining area where people were gathering.
There, Beth had one of her moments. For reasons we don’t understand, she was fearful of a dear, gentle friend who also worked at the church, and she began to curse him. Our work in the kitchen was interrupted when another church member came in, holding Beth’s arm to escort her out the door. She looked at me with wide eyes, silent and scared.
I wrapped my arms around her, explained that she was my friend, and promised I would watch out for her if he would let her stay. He continued to move toward the door. Desperately, I told him that if she left, I would, too. (I was supposed to give the sermon and serve Communion that evening.) He yelled, “I’m tired of your b~!” and took her out.
My pastor was counting on me to serve in his absence, so I reluctantly stayed. With so many inner emotions, I gave the sermon message… and served Communion to the man who had taken her away. After the service, my son and I found Beth outside, and we gathered around her with the laughter that arises from relief.
Later I learned from a few parents that their teens told them about the lesson of love they learned that day. Perhaps this encounter offered more than any lesson I had ever prepared and shared with them.
May I always be loudest in love, in kindness, in compassion… and in forgiveness.
(This post is part of an online writing community, “Five Minute Friday.” We are given a one-word prompt and five minutes to write. I hope you check out the excellent posts at the site listed under the image!)