“That was my last soda.”
This is what I said to Mr. Rachel last night. We live in a two-story house and our upstairs loft serves as a den of sorts. I stay up there most of the time with the baby because it’s comfortable and that’s where all the baby stuff is (and there is a TON of baby stuff – really someone should warn new parents about this). When one of us goes downstairs, we always ask the other if he/she needs anything before we come up. Last night Mr. Rachel asked for one of my orange sodas. I said, “If I have any left.” When I got to the refrigerator and pulled out the orange soda box, I discovered only two sodas left. Now, this should be considered a blessing – one for me and one for him. Instead, I saw it as a personal attack. Mr. Rachel had other drinks in the fridge, but the orange sodas were the only drink I liked. Begrudgingly, I picked up both sodas and took them upstairs. I opened one and gave the other to Mr. Rachel. “That was my last soda.”
Keep in mind that I acted like this toward my husband! Not a stranger, my friend, or even my sister – my husband! Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me…
How many times have you casually resented someone close to you, maybe not even realizing you’re doing it? How many times has it been over something simple or stupid like orange soda? When I first reflected on this experience, I thought to myself, Hey, it turned out okay. I did give him my soda. Unfortunately, giving him my soda wasn’t enough. Instead of offering up what I had with a kind heart to the person I love most in my life, I offered up what I had with an envious heart and a callous comment. In Luke 6, Jesus tells us: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6: 27-31)
These are Jesus’ instructions for our life, regardless of with whom we may be dealing (but especially when dealing with those with whom we have to live). How simple are these instructions? Be nice and don’t be mean when someone is mean to you.
As you know, I’ve been working on being patient and not using sarcasm. Appearing kind is a by-product of these actions (that’s why I gave up the soda), but we need to go beyond appearances. We need to infuse kindness and the eagerness to be kind in our hearts so that it affects all of our actions. We need to go back to that 2,000-year-old preschool lesson – “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” And, really, if Jesus expects me to give up the clothes on my back, can’t I do without one orange soda?
(Editor’s Note: As proof of how good Mr. Rachel really is to me – he picked up a 12-pack of orange sodas for me later that night.)
(Image from http://www.crushsoda.com)
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