Saturday I went to a funeral in Tennessee. My husband’s uncle died. I don’t like funerals. The Pastor at the church where the funeral was held gave a sermon and one statement stood out to me, particularly, “no one was a stranger.”
My husband explained to me how his uncle started his own successful 20-year-old cleaning business. First, my husband’s uncle began bartending and genuinely developing contacts and friendships with the patrons to then owning 3 cleaning businesses in 2 different states. The woman he married already had two children and he was a father to them as if naturally they were his very own.
When I met my husband’s uncle 2 years ago, he treated me as if he had known me for years. His hospitality was genuine and he was very generous and outgoing. I didn’t know he was living with cancer for 10 years already when I met him.
On Saturday, as we pulled up to his wife’s home (whom is now a widow), his neighbor (who is a younger white man) graciously offered his driveway to anyone who needed somewhere to park. He spoke at the funeral as well with an initial joke, “people have asked me if we (my husband’s deceased uncle) are related, I told them, can’t you tell!”
As I have been staying home with the children for nearly 3 years this has been almost like a sabbatical in which my spirit has been able to really get quiet. It’s been a time of developing a real love relationship with my Heavenly Father, self-reflection, growth, and prayer. As I get older I have a deep desire to help and develop lasting relationships with others and truly love people. Not love with a smile or flattery but to truly love people. One of my biggest downfalls has been people-pleasing and the fear of man—relating to people based on my childhood experiences.
My Father said this:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.Matthew 22:37-40
So as I rotated this statement over and over again in my head, “no one was a stranger,” and how our Father really wants us to have a relationship with Him 1st and love everyone as ourselves—nothing more and nothing less; I asked Jesus to show me how to genuinely love people and to help me to leave what happened in the past in the past that I may join Him in His work and to be an effective agent of change. As I have held on to a library book for two months without finishing it, “How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie,” Going to this funeral rekindled my desire to finish the book which suggests to be genuinely interested in people. I know that attending this funeral was confirming where my Father wants to take me.
Again I say Happy New Year to You my Readers and I pray that you will find your purpose and joy in Jesus Christ! I want to know, what’s your goal, challenge, or resolution for 2013?