apology story to begin 5775

Posted: October 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

Another blog about Karen learning to be a Jewish wife…including a really cool God story.

We celebrated Rosh Hashanah intentionally this year – it is the Jewish new year.  G celebrated by blowing his shofar at the river.  We had a feast of sweet things to indicate our wish for a sweet year.  It is now the Jewish year 5775.

Now we’re in the days of repentance – 10 of ’em, which will conclude Saturday with Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.  We are supposed to be examining ourselves during these 10 days, and making apologies to those whom we’ve offended.  I’m all about self-examination.  Maybe not as quick on the apologies front, though.

God has had great fun “showing off” in that department of my life, this last day or two.  But I gotta go back a bit in the story before we can go forward.

I got to attend Willow Creek Church’s Global Leadership Summit once again this year, thanks to my amazing employer.  That was in August.  At some point in the Summit, there is always a point where we are summoned to pause for prayer, in which time we are to silently ask God to show us what He wants us to see.  I always make the assumption that what I see will be related to the teachings, or at least related to work.  Cuz, you know, that’s the mode I’m in when I’m there.  Generally, it has worked out that way.

Things went differently this year.  I paused to pray and what I heard puzzled me.  That’s not about work.  That must not be what He’s showing me.  Somewhere inside my head, I turned heel and started moving away from the message.

That’s when I heard God chuckling.  You think I’m constrained to your agenda? 

I paused. Well, it COULDN’T be God talking.  I had heard that I was to go and make peace with someone who has not spoken to me in almost a decade, after a loud falling-out.  It was ancient news.  It had nothing to do with today.  It COULDN’T be.

More chuckling.

So then, I started considering whether it would even be POSSIBLE to make peace with this person.  After all, I had made an attempt or two, and the other party wouldn’t even stay in the same part of the room I was in. I couldn’t even get close enough to converse.  Impossible.

Besides, I didn’t even have a phone number for the person.  Impossible.

There was just really no way to accomplish this idea.  It must not be from God.

Ah.  So now you determine whether something is from Me based on whether or not it is possible?  Seriously?  The irony was dripping, dripping, and dripping some more.

Oh, shoot.

I quieted my objections.  Maybe it WAS God.  Maybe this was a legit directive.  It would be JUST LIKE HIM, after all, to give me an impossible objective.

Through the course of the afternoon, the message was confirmed in bits and pieces by speaker after speaker.  The last speaker of the day carried the last part of the message:  Do it soon.  Don’t plan to do it “someday.”  Time is short.  Do it soon. 

Oh, my.

I came home and ran it by G.  We rolled it around together a bit.

In the end, I decided to agree with God.  I must make peace with this person.  It was an impossible assignment.  But the impossibility was none of my business.  That was God’s affair.  When He tells us to do something, it’s our job to believe and obey.  It’s His job to knock down impossibility.  I would do my job.

But I didn’t get to it as quickly as I might have.  The reasons are complicated, but the final reason was simple:  I just couldn’t figure out how to start.  I obtained a cell number for the party involved, but the sharer of the number warned:  they don’t text.  They don’t have voice mail set up.  And I knew that my number would show up as unknown.  Really, what hope was there?  Surely this person wouldn’t answer my call.

A friend made several suggestions for how I might make it happen.  None of them rang as right to me.  I didn’t try them.  I waited.  Sometimes I’d think about the need to at least TRY to call that cell phone number, but it was always at hours that weren’t appropriate for phone calls.  During the best times to call, my brain carefully hid any memory of the need to do this task.  I couldn’t remember it to save my life.  I kept talking and talking about it to G and to a friend, but I kept not doing it.

Yesterday morning, I remembered the need to call while I was writing my grat list.  Once again, it wasn’t a good time to call.  I enlisted my grat list friends to pray for me, that I would take care of this bit of business.  Quickly, responses of encouragement and promises to pray came rolling in.  I got busy with work and promptly forgot all about it, per usual.

Last night I came home from work, a couple of hours earlier than G, per usual.  I sat down to enjoy supper, and turned on an old Colbert Report to watch while I ate.  He was hilarious.  He was doing a bit on Rosh Hashanah, blowing the shofar with varying success.  Sharing about the need to make apologies to those who are offended.

BOOM.  It was almost like lightning hit in my kitchen.  In a flash, I remembered:  I need to make that call.  This is a good time to make that call!

Turning off the Colbert Report, I was tempted to stop and pray.  But seriously – we DO NOT need to pray about doing something God already told us to do.

I was tempted to stop and think about what I might say.  But what seemed more important in the moment was:  OBEDIENCE.  Just do it.  Don’t think about it.  Don’t hesitate.  Don’t give myself a chance to change my mind.  Dial the phone.  DO IT.

I followed that hunch.  The phone started to ring.  My belly ached.  My heart pounded.  I had no idea what to say.  At the same time, the voice of negativity in my head was assuring me:  no WAY was anybody gonna pick up the phone at the other end.  As 3 and even 4 rings went by, the voice seemed to be right.  Still, I let it ring.

And…an answer.

And…they did not hang up when I identified myself.

And…they heard me out.

And…it ended up being a FRIENDLY conversation.

It was the most astonishingly easy thing ever. If you’ve ever had a weight lifted like that lifted off of you, you can perhaps imagine how much I felt like turning cartwheels when I got off the phone.

I just think God likes showing off.  I just think He likes obedience THAT MUCH – you obeyed Me?  Okay then, let me instantly remove every obstacle in your way so that you can do it right!

He is good.  And I’m feeling like a pretty good Jewish wife, just now.  That’ll bolster me, as I prepare to do Yom Kippur at G’s synagogue (an experience outside my comfort zone of Known Experience, for sure!)

May He show off in your life, too.


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