We usually only talk about the teaching/speaking that I do, but I wanted to give you all a glimpse of Beth’s effective ministry. We have some neighbors that are the “those neighbors” type. Over the year we’ve lived here we’ve been annoyed in several awful ways. I’ve had little patience, but Beth decided that loving them meant more than avoiding them. She began to smile and wave which led to conversations and then to exchanging gifts. They aren’t best friends, but Beth has consistently reached out to them, especially the mom of the house.
Last night at about 11, Beth heard something. I have bad hearing and assumed it was only a dog, but Beth sensed that something was wrong. She went out onto the porch and realized our neighbor was fighting with her boyfriend, very loudly and some what physically. Instead of calling the police and staying out of it, Beth yelled across the street, “Sheryl, are you okay? Why don’t you come on inside!” To my surprise she did. She walked over, and Beth welcomed her into our living room. For the next hour I watched Beth minister in a way I’m so incapable of doing. She offered a drink and the just talked and comforted her. She got her talking and discovered that there was in fact a one-sided physical fight (she hit him with a stick and broke it on him!), and got to the root of the scuffle – alcohol and gambling.
All in all, Beth just loved her. She skillfully taught Sheryl about how valuable she was and assured her that she loved her and would be here for her anytime she needed. Sometime after midnight everything calmed down, and we tried to go to sleep. o_O
Today, Sheryl’s daughter ran across the street to play with Bekah. As I type this Beth is sitting on the couch snuggling with Bekah and her new four year old friend, providing stability and nothing but uplifting words to her.
Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed[b] go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
For obvious reasons, I changed the name of our neighbor.