Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Friendship


One day I was at my neighbor's house and noticed this calf and lamb. They are best friends, following each other everywhere. They even play together, butting up against each other. They seem to show affection by rubbing up against each other....but maybe they're just scratching an itch! It just goes to show that friendship isn't always what you expect it to be!


Can I be honest? Sometimes I feel like people like me for my money and for what they can get out of me. Especially since we've decided to move some people have expressed their distress over us leaving because it is going to hurt them economically. It is easy to convince myself that I am being used.

Then something happens to show that that isn't necessarily true.

Three of Suzanne's m.k. friends came up to visit during the Christmas holidays. We have really wide window sills, and one of the girls laid her cell phone and her jacket in the dining room window (this very window!). Later in the evening when she went to retrieve her phone, it was gone. They noticed that the screen had been pulled up and it was pretty clear the phone had been stolen. There are always kids peering in that window, but we have never had any of the kids steal any thing. They are naughty in a childish way, but we've never known any of them to be mini criminals. We did notice that there had been kids in the yard that we didn't know.



I told our house helper (one of the ones who I sometimes feel likes me for my money!) about it. She was really upset and went and told several key people in the neighborhood. Her husband was really upset and his reaction was, "They have been here 16 years and have never done anything to hurt anybody. It's not right that someone would take advantage of their guests like that." Two men down the street who sit outside all day started interrogating kids. They eventually found the one all the other kids were saying it probably was. He denied it, but when they went in his house, they found it! The men beat the boy, then brought the phone back to us!


If we did not have deep relationships with people in the neighborhood, people wouldn't really have cared if we got the phone back or not. But because they know us and know we have always been honest and kind they are willing to take justice into their own hands and to treat us right. Friendship may not always look the way you expect it to!


The next day a good friend of John's, one of the Tera Six, came to visit. He said, "When we've known you this long it is hard to say goodbye because it's like we are brothers." In this culture a brother can be anything from a brother to a half brother to a step brother to a cousin. But he used the term "nya fo, baabe fo" -- same mother, same father-- the closest kind of brother relationship.

Bearing our grief over leaving and bearing the grief of our friends that they seem to put back on us has not been easy. We know we are doing the right thing and have been able to make this move with joy, but it's not been easy. If you have a copy of Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest read January 11. He talks about when we obey Christ it is a joy for us, but it often costs others a great deal because their plans are upset, especially if they do not love Christ . He says, "We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but we shall be a grief to our Lord. Whereas if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and to leave all consequences with Him."


Isn't it amazing how God sends the confirmation and the comfort you need at just the right time?

3 comments:

Georgene said...

I didn't know you were moving? Are you staying close to where you currently live or coming back to the states?

Good to hear from you! I enjoyed your post!

Palmer said...

Thanks for your transparency.

Got your note on my blog. Yep, we're adjusting fairly well. However, with the advent of sub-zero temperatures, plus wind chill, this week . . . well, there are new adjustments all the time.

Anonymous said...

That is such a gift, the way God showed you that you have made an impact, that people do love you deeply.
I suspect there are numerous people who count you and John as
"nya fo, baabe fo"!
Your honesty has encouraged me once again! You have a real gift with writing.
Love, JO