Life’s Lessons


The question

Having talked with several trusted friends who would say what needed to be said instead of what they thought I wanted to hear, I was not going ahead with the big step in question. Everyone of them advised against it for various reasons. I would not buy a house.

Still, in just a few weeks, that changed. Yes, I would buy a house! The decision having been made and the purchase in progress, I wanted to tell some people close to me about it. I didn’t want them to hear it piecemeal through the rumor mill.

So I spent an afternoon visiting my two sisters-in-law. That way, if there were questions, I could answer them. They were very understanding, and the main question was, “Where is it?” followed by “I want to drive by.”

I arranged for a contractor to do some interior repair work, trim, and a major paint job. All was going well. Still there was one place I needed to visit to tell the news – my neighbors. We have been friends since the very first week I moved into my rented villa.

One morning in that first week, when I had Kelly out for her morning constitutional, this neighbor man met me on my side of the street with a question: “Aren’t you the one who writes a column in the Expositor every week?”

He had me placed all right. He told his wife, and the next morning she came out. We’ve had many good visits over the three-plus years since that. Though I’ve graciously been supplied with fresh baked banana nut bread hot from the oven and my (and Kelly’s) walkway has been kept well mowed, it’s their friendship I’ll miss most. The just knowing they were there if I needed anything!

After about two weeks of my watching for them to be outside when Kelly and I went by, there they were – sitting outside. I turned the car around and went back to tell them the news.

After the usual greetings and small talk, I spilled my news.

When we got there, they gave me a bag of dog treats their dog didn’t like. Now, after hearing my news, my kind neighbor man took those treats to the car and came back with Kelly in tow. Or, did Kelly have him in tow? I’m not sure.

Anyway, he had taken a couple of minutes to formulate the question which would have plagued him had he not asked it – “Helen, did God tell you to do this? Or did you go out on your own?”

“No, I didn’t go on my own. God told me to do it.”

“Okay, then. We’ll miss you!” Then, he made sure he knew the address of the new place so they, too, could drive by.

It was the question that needed to be asked and I was very grateful he did it. So often, there’s a question that needs to be asked but we don’t ask lest we step on toes or cause ill feelings.

For example, have you truly ascertained your friends know Jesus as savior? Or do you just assume they do because, after all, they are your friends and you know Him. Maybe you need to ask that question – do you know Jesus as your savior? I ask that of you right now.

A friend speaking of someone else said, “She’s like you. She asks the hard questions.”

Yes, sometimes, they are hard questions, but it could mean the difference in where that individual spends eternity. Do you care? If so, ask the hard question.

The question