Tuesday, July 16, 2019

'Burning of Bridges' Not Spoken Here


"But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.""The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire.."   ... Titus 3:9, James 3:6


Sunday afternoon I sat here at my computer when Tom stepped in and said, "Someone's knocking at the door. Can you get it? I'd rather not," (being in his most-casual-of-clothes, shall we say).

So I groaned, got up and upon opening the red door, saw that Mormons stood on our porch. Before unlatching the glass storm door, I whispered, "Thomas, you're gonna owe me big time."  ツ

But, hey, all was well. The 3 young men looked like Mormon poster boys: dressed-up, clean-shaven, 20-ish and adorable. The type to which you'd say, "Could you watch my purse for me, please?" in an emergency.

The chosen speaker said, "Hello Ma'am! And let me say first that I really like your blouse. Purple is my favorite color." (His two friends shifted a bit nervously, like the guy had gone off-script.) 

But I didn't mind. I smiled and said, "Thank-you." 

He got back on script and eventually said, "I'm not sure how much you know about Jesus....", to which I replied, "Oh! He's everything to me. I couldn't get by a day without Him." Then quickly added, "And I'm not just saying that so you'll leave, either." They all chuckled and seemed glad (and surprised) at my original statement.

"That's great!", he said. A couple sentences later he asked, "Is there anything you'd like to know about the Mormon faith?" and I said, "Uhm, no, that's ok. Actually we learned a lot from your wonderful Mormon movies around 10 years ago. We watched at least 5 and enjoyed them so much!"

He asked if I could recall any of the titles, but of course I couldn't (put me on the spot like that and are you kidding?). I just stated that each film made us laugh and we'd shared them with friends. All 3 guys seemed happy and curious as to which movies we'd viewed.

Then he handed me a card with their website where I could look up the films, find more information and by the end of our conversation? All felt well, positive and good on our pretty Sunday afternoon.

And after closing the door I didn't even nag Tom too much about having me open the door to Mormons. Just a tad. heh.

But mostly? I felt thankful that I hadn't 'burned any bridges.' Not at any time had I told those cute young men, "Boy, do you and I have some different beliefs! Don't get me started."

No. Instead, I concentrated upon our commonalities. We laughed together and parted--if not friends--then respecters of one another as people who see some things differently, other things the same. 

And that is how I'm choosing to live my life.

Yes, especially online and at Facebook. Hopefully nowhere will you ever see me write--

"That ____ (person in a political party) is an idiot. All of her/his followers are deceived morons."

"All mega churches and tv evangelists are getting it wrong."

"I can't stand those actors' politics and heck, they can't even act, anyway."

Go ahead and phrase things that way if you wish (I've spied each at Facebook), but please remember we potentially burn a bridge to further possibilities of understanding, compassion and maybe even bringing others to Jesus if we do.

If good ol' Debra unfollows you (for a time) when you speak this way, I know others do, as well (maybe forever, instead, out of unnecessary offense).

I just can't allow those flames inside my mind/heart, ones which venture near bridges I want to keep outstretched. Strong bridges, that's what I long for, ones reaching to people who sometimes wander back over them to me saying, "Debra, there's something different about you. I thought at first I didn't like it, but now I think I do. What is it?"

That actually happens to me. It does. And may I do all I can to never burn a bridge I could've kept standing bright, tall and welcoming.

"In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us."   ... Titus 2:7,8

"Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness."   ... James 3:18

Someone isn't believing the important stuff from the Bible? Praying, with love, that God will soften and enlighten their hearts, works wonders.


I wrote years ago about the cute Mormon movies we watched. Go here. And perhaps our favorite was The R.M. --

Oh wow. Here's a bit about it--

The R.M. is fun! When the R.M. (which I am assuming means Returning Missionary) returns home after his two-year mission in Wyoming, he finds nothing as he'd envisioned. His parents gave away his bedroom so he must stay in the laundry room (if I recall correctly). And oh my, the scene showing him as a tele-marketer for the 'Filthy Filter" (like the TV Guardian), had me laughing to tears. And like The Home Teachers, this movie also ended with a fine moral lesson without being preachy.


Oh my goodness! Naomi gave us some of these Buffalo Wing Almonds and they make the best snack, ever--


"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15


Betsy said...

I actually enjoy when the Mormons and Jehovah Witness's knock and the door. They have to know before they ring the doorbell that Christians live here because we have a scripture verse painted on our house by the front door.
We usually have a very nice chat with both parties wishing each other a great day and then they're on their way.

Pam said...

I like the way you treated the young Mormon men. Whenever I see them, all dressed in their white shirts and dark slacks (can't remember what the women wear), I can't help but wonder how many of us would be willing to commit to years of missionary service. When you think about it, it's pretty impressive.

When I look back, I remember being more judgmental about others. I probably didn't say much, but I judged in my mind and heart. The years have knocked off some of my rough edges and the Holy Spirit has convicted me, often, reminding me that all of us are created by a loving Father who wants us to accept each other.

Debbie V. said...

Hi Debra,
I think we cross paths a little on Pinterest and of course there's our previous connection with Gladys Taber, Christmas cards and blogging. I do have a blog but it's on hiatus at the moment.
I enjoyed your burning bridges post - people are definitely doing a lot of that these days. Like you, I'm not following that. We all have so much in common.
I'm still working for another 2 years, focused on maintaining my health and simplifying my life.
It nice to hear/read a familiar voice,
Debbie Vietzke

Debra said...

Betsy--that's great! Now if all of us could do that with all people everywhere, right?

Pam-- we sound so much alike! It's spooky. Hee. These later years we have so much more freedom for our aging minds, right? And it feels wonderful to respond with love rather than judgement. (Happy sigh.)

Debbie V.! Of course I remember you. It's been a long time, though yes, I also spy you over at Pinterest most days. So happy to hear a fellow Gladys fan from the old days is doing well and thanks for commenting here and letting me know you'd read my latest post!

Thanks, Everyone! Blessings, Debra