Dinner Guest

Dinner guest

I slammed the pots and pans about the kitchen. I was hot. Not from baking but hot under the collar from work. My eyes were puffy from crying and my soul was mopping the floor with my tears. I hoped I would be left alone tonight, the last thing I felt like having right now was company. I dimmed the lights to discourage visitors.

I went to the task of preparing dinner and setting the table, stewing the whole time about my day at work. I had been humiliated and slammed in front of two departments during a staff meeting,creating a hostile work environment at it’s best. I had cried unabashedly for the first hour of work. I eventually got control of myself through God’s power, begging him for inner peace. But as you can see, after I got home I rehashed the episode over and over. Once all was in readiness I went to the bathroom and washed off my tear streaked make-up. I didn’t even have an appetite.

The doorbell pealed out, clamoring to be answered, followed by a gentle knocking and someone calling my name. I considered pretending to not be home, but I recognized the voice. He knew I’d be hiding. Opening the door I greeted my guest with false bravado,”Hey, What a surprise.” After I hung his coat up I embrassed him, “Oh, I’m sorry, did I hurt your chest?” He looked pale, as though all his blood had been drained.

“No,you’re fine. The scar is well healed.” He replied, stroking the area above his heart where he had been pierced by a sharp object a while back.

“I was just about to sit down to dinner, care to join me?” Please say no, I thought, not eager to expose my emotions to this man.

“You bet. It looks great.” Boy, was he kind. I had practically slung the burnt fish on the plates. He limped over to the table and got comfortable.

Before we broke bread I gave him the honour of blessing the meal. He was a master at praying. My appetite slowly returned and by the time he said,”Thank you Dad, amen.” I was famished.

As we ate I launched into the particulars of my day at his prodding. He automatically knew something was amiss and I needed venting. Sharing the horrendous details with him lightened my heart considerably. The gentle look of understanding and sympathy on his ordinary face , marred with scratches, raised my soul. He was far from handsome but highly desireable. I passed my hand across the table and laid it on his. He brought my hand close to his heart, then kissed it.

“I had a day as bad as that myself, years ago. I was preaching to some simple folk in a field when church officials approached and whipped me with a chain. They didn’t feel I had a right to teach people contrary to their way of doing things. They even sought to have me excommunicated from my own church and threatened those that heard me with the same action.”

“What did you do? How did you get even?” I hoped for some earth shattering action I could employ also. I had to agree, my day at work was nothing compared to what he had suffered trying to bring people to God.

“I prayed for them.”

“That’s it. You didn’t call the police. You had every right.” I was shocked. He had been physically assaulted and let it go! His story made mine weak, yet I said, “I want vengence.” I was holding on to my anger.

” ‘Vengence is mine, saith the Lord.’, Let your anger go. God will do things in his own way, better than anything you can do. Feel sorry for the perpetrators of your misery. The road ahead for them may be bleak enough.” My guest was correct. He had a better handle on things than I did, more insight. I didn’t feel shamed by his admonition, instead I was grateful to him for his advice. I was truly delighted I had let him in the door.

“Do you know how precious you are?” I felt abased. He was perfectly right in his approach. Pray for those that hate you and spitefully abuse and persecute you. It was a lesson I would always have trouble learning.

He modestly held up his hands, scarred by an on the job injury, and exclaimed, “It’s you that’s precious. Don’t give up being yourself, just give up being angry.”

Dinner was finished and, saddly, it was time for him to go. He had other members of his flock to visit that were badly in need of counsel. How did he keep himself so trim eating at all these houses? I couldn’t selfishly keep him here when so many were hurting.

“Will I see you again soon?” I asked, as I assisted him with his outer garment. Before he wiggled into his coat I noticed inflamed red scars that streaked across his back showing through his white shirt. Souvenirs from the chain lashing recieved from officials he had prayed for. My eyes stung with tears. I wanted to run my fingers down the scars but didn’t. I couldn’t claim to have problems greater than his.

“Just open up when I knock. Don’t ever pretend to not be home,” Winking at me, Jesus closed the door behind him but didn’t lock it.

I bent my head in prayer. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Rev. 3:20
Heb. 4:13

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