- Sarah Beth Dippel
MONEY LOST, BUT GOSPEL SHARED = WIN
TUESDAY OF THE TWENTY-SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Three weeks ago, the University of Wyoming pulled back it's opening, and my step-son, Jake, was among the many kids that stopped packing for college and made plans to start college from his bedroom. Since the day we got the news, I've been exchanging emails with our Airbnb host. Now, in fairness to her, her cancellation policy is pretty much if you don't come, you don't get money back. But me being me, I approached the situation, thinking she'd do the right thing despite her rights to keep my money. I always like to think people will be kind and caring to one another; after all, we had no control over the university's decision.
This past Sunday, my old friend, Taylor Sanford, newly ordained to the transitional diaconate, gave a homily that couldn't have been more appropriate for my life right now. He first talked about grieving for our friends in Lake Charles, who are struggling with Hurricane Laura's effects. He said what I needed to hear, while we grieve, life does go on, and it is filled with joy, and we are allowed to experience both. Then he talked about the reading from Jeremiah. When we love the Lord and want to share His message, we cannot shy away from sharing our love for Jesus with others even when it is not joyfully accepted.
Well, you can see where this is going. The Airbnb host kept telling me how terrible she felt, how sorry she was, that I should read the policies. Obviously, I've read the policy, but I was counting on her to love her neighbor. This morning, as I read her latest email once again, trying to justify keeping the money, I shared Christ with her. I told her I didn't need her to spend any more time (she was going to call Airbnb to help us) on the issue and keep the money. Consider it a gift from God for her family, were the words I used. Well, like Jeremiah, I was sent to the shackles. She was not happy with my "pushing God on her." But I don't regret it. I'd happily send that message again because I felt that was what the Lord was asking me to do. I knew it wasn't about getting money back; this was an opportunity to share the Lord with a woman who does not feel that she needs God.
We all need God it is just that some of us realize it sooner than others. Speak the truth in love.
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