It was cell group night and, as usual, a group of friends were at our place for dinner before the Bible study.
The pot roast, steaming bowls of mashed potatoes and sweet carrots, and the gravy, were being passed around, when some friends who share their lives and home said that they had just bought a second car.
The large car they own is a gas guzzler; just filling the tank costs enough to feed a family for several days; they had bought a second, smaller car that was already delighting them with its economy.
"We'd like to ask your opinion," they then said to the rest of us. One of their friends had asked to borrow one of their cars for a week. The friend had the opportunity of a week's work; badly needed financially; but no way to get there.
On the one hand, they said, "There was a reason we got the second car--we need it;" but on the other hand they struggled with whether they should say no; they just wondered what we thought.
Without thinking, or asking God what he thought, or even pausing to listen to what others might say; partly out of protectiveness and concern that our friends might be taken advantage of, I went on about the insurance risk and said, "Oh, I would be uncomfortable with doing that."
A moment later I regretted being so definitive in the expression of my opinion and said so, but when you spill your guts there is no putting them back easily.
Then, from the end of the table came my daughter's quiet comment to no one in particular, I don't even know if anyone else heard her, "I've just always thought that nothing belongs to us."
Yes, that was what we have tried to teach our children, and live out, so what was that coming from my lips now?
Major cognitive dissonnance was the result. No matter how many times I said that I didn't necessarily mean what I had said, I felt as though every picture frame on the wall of my soul was hanging crookedly and until I straightened them I would have no peace.
I was wrong; so wrong. My daughter was right. When did my heart shrink so small and my eyes grow so blind that I lost sight of a desperate person with the hope of a week's work in need of a helping hand?
So this is my confessional, and my picture frames are hanging straight again.
And as though God wanted to make sure I got it, the devotions read at work this morning was from the online reading from My Utmost for His Highest for today, July 5: Don't Plan Without God with these words almost at the end:
Don’t plan with a rainy day in mind. You cannot hoard things for a rainy day if you are truly trusting Christ. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:1).