Internet Cafe

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Repeat Offenders

The Internet Cafe WELCOMES Rhonda Roberts today!!

I’m sitting in my rocking chair with a cup of coffee, eyes closed, silently reciting a scripture I can’t seem to get right. The baby is napping, the kids are outside playing. I have a few minutes of peace before we have to finish school for the day and then start supper. It has been a long day and I need this respite to get through the rest of my afternoon. So, I’m rocking, listening to the kids playing.

Resting in His peace.

Ah, yes. His Perfect Peace.

Oh, and doesn’t that afternoon cup go down smoothly?? Yes, it’s a glorious day, and I am a content woman.

Riiiingg!!!!!

Uh-uh. Keep rocking, don’t get up.

RRRIIIINNGGGGGG!!!!!

Nope. Whatever it is, it can wait. Not getting up.

RRRIINNNGG!!!! RRRRIIIINNNGG!!!

Could be my husband. Maybe I should get up and check the caller ID. Nah… Keep rocking. Eyes still closed. What was that scripture verse???

RIIINNGGG!!!!

No more rocking. The verse is gone. I know who it is calling me. I know it’s her. The peace wrecker. The constant complainer. The master manipulater and evil destroyer of my coffee break!!!! I will NOT get up.

I listen, not moving.

Silence. Beautiful silence. Thank you Lord! Thank you for this time. Forgive me, Father. Goodness, I sure got worked up over a silly phone call. How petty! It probably wasn’t even her. I’m sorry, Lord. I really need to be more gracious.

RING!!!! RIINNNNNNGGGG!!!!

Really, are you serious? She’s calling back? Well, wait a minute. Maybe it’s not her. I get up to check the caller ID. Maybe it’s someone I want to talk to.

RRRIIINNGGGGG!!!!

Or, maybe it’s an emergency! It must be. After all, why else would the phone be ringing 20 times before the caller hangs up? I look at the caller ID window. My teeth clench, my back stiffens..SIGH!!!! I knew it. I just KNEW it was her. I’m soooooo not answering the phone! I go back to my rocking chair, phone screaming at me over my shoulder. I plop down, hard, on my rocker and rock. Not quite as gently as before, but I’m still rocking. And my eyes are, again,closed. Tight. No light getting in. If I close them tight enough maybe I can block out sound too.

Ever been there? Maybe it’s a relative, a church member or coworker. It’s someone in your life that 9 days out of 10, drives you crazy. And you have lots other people in your life that will back you up on whatever resentment you hold in your heart against this person. They truly are difficult. What to do? I checked my bible to get my answer.

Here is what I came up with:

Mat 6:14 For if you forgive people their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Uh-uh. Surely not, Lord. I have to deal with this person on a daily basis. I’m tired of being lied too, and manipulated and talked about over and over and OVER! Can’t we do something about these repeat offenders? I read on:

Matthew 18:21+22 “Then Peter came up and asked him, "Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I have to forgive him? Seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy times seven!”

That’s A LOT of forgiving. But that’s what we’re called to do. Forgive them. Love them. Let’s be honest, if they are really as annoying as you think, they probably have very few friends. Be one. Not out of pity, because pity leaves as soon as you’re offended. Love them and forgive them because it’s the right thing to do.

The phone is still ringing. I pray, “Do I have to answer it?”

“No. Do you have to be resentful that it’s ringing?”

Sigh. No. I guess not. No, of course I don’t. I’m sorry, Lord. Will you please forgive me? Again?

“Seventy times seven, Beloved.”


Rhonda and her husband live in rural Mississippi with their 5 young children. She grew up in New England and headed south shortly after becoming a Christian in 1992. She has a bachelor's degree in social work and counseling and is a homeschool mom and Sunday school teacher. You'll find Robin enjoying reading, gardening, and drinking coffee and she confesses, watching "nerdy" documentaries.

Join Rhonda at her personal blogspot:

www.rhondajeanne.blogspot.com


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6 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Let me add a great big amen, bless you.

December 9, 2008 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Yes, I can relate to this. Good job bringing out a deeper issue of forgiveness...that of ongoing resentment. Amen.

December 9, 2008 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Jazzy Peggy said...

I loved reading this, thank you!

December 9, 2008 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Amydeanne said...

ahh this was for me this morning! thanks.

December 10, 2008 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Elysa said...

Good stuff, R!

December 30, 2008 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Drewe Llyn said...

Howdy, Rhonda! Congratulations on being here! Great thought and well said.

~ Your real life friend
Drewe Llyn!

December 31, 2008 at 7:34 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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