October 1, 2015 | TFA Communications |
Written By: Amanda Whitaker, TFA Class of 2012 and author of Making It Count. Read Amanda’s thoughts on life and living at https://amandagracewhit.wordpress.com.
Steve loves the ducks.
Steve is my dad, and the ducks are his neighbors, in a way. The ducks have lived in Lake Henry and in the swampy areas of The First Academy (where my dad works) for years.
They walk to and fro around campus, doing their duckly business. One day, Steve noticed that one little guy had a problem because he was missing a webbed foot.
He called me to his office eagerly one summer day to tell me about these fluffy birds. He said the other ducks wait for the hurt duck and walk along with him slowly, never leaving him behind. “Watch them,” he said. He was right. It made him smile every time. It made me smile pretty big too.
And it made me think about people. How we don’t always wait when we should and walk ahead far too quickly because we don’t have the time for anyone that can’t keep up.
I’m not qualified to talk about relationships. I am typically a private person, I have very strict self-imposed boundaries, and I’ve accepted that friendships have ended and will continue to end, occasionally in a cold-hearted way.
However, I have learned too much recently about myself and others and Jesus to be silent about community. “We’re all just walking each other home,” as one quote says. For me this is a picture of Christian community.
As a believer, it is my job to walk with others in the direction of Jesus, in the direction of heaven. We are here to share Jesus with those who haven’t heard, to encourage the downtrodden, to love the unlovable, and to lift each other up when we’re feeling down.
We are told to “be at peace” with one another. Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” That’s a pretty tough command to follow.
But sometimes I’m reminded why it’s important, like at the last Cru (formerly Campus Crusade) meeting I attended at UF. We were gathered in a church, sitting down for worship instead of standing. No one seemed concerned about conflict, jealousy or competition.
There were only thankful voices ringing together, full of peace. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.” I closed my eyes and felt like that moment was what people mean when they talk about His will being done on earth as it is in Heaven. It was a slice of Heaven. That’s being at peace with one another and walking with each other.
It means knowing that those we’re walking with will be around for all eternity, even if we don’t always see eye-to-eye. When you see others as those you’ll spend eternity with, it becomes less of a competition and more of a celebration, less about our sin and more about our Savior.
Relationships aren’t really about anything but being like Jesus and loving each other.
Let’s face it: everyone is broken and not finished yet. I suppose you could say we’re all missing a webbed foot, in one way or another. A little grace and a little peace go a long way as we wait for one another and walk each other home.