HE RE­DE­FINES TO­GETH­ER­NESS

Simple Grace - - You’re Never Alone -

“I had been try­ing for weeks to be­friend a new co­worker, Peggy, who had re­cently joined our team at the of­fice. She and I had a lot in com­mon, yet ev­ery time I asked her if she’d like to go to lunch, she would tell me she had plans with some­one else. That was all well and good un­til I drove down­town to my usual sandwich spot and saw her across the street at a cof­fee shop seated by the win­dow…alone.

“I was hurt and couldn’t imag­ine why she felt she had to lie to me or avoid me. I thought what­ever rea­son she had to not want to spend time to­gether, she could at least be hon­est about it.

“One day I de­cided to con­front her, so I barged into the café, my stom­ach knot­ted in hurt and frus­tra­tion. But my steps slowed once I saw her read­ing some­thing.

“‘Peggy?’ I said. ‘I saw you in the win­dow and…you’re al­ways alone when you tell me you’re meet­ing some­one for lunch.’

“Her eyes were tran­quil as she smiled warmly at me. ‘This is the hour a day I stop and spend time with God,’ she said, hold­ing up the small de­vo­tional.

“I was speech­less. When did I last spend time with God and strengthen my re­la­tion­ship with Him? Shame washed over me as I re­al­ized how I’d mis­judged her.

“‘It’s won­der­ful that you do this,’ I said with deep long­ing for that con­nec­tion with God, and think­ing how many times I had been ‘too busy.’

“‘How about if you join me to­mor­row and we start hav­ing lunch and read­ing the de­vo­tional to­gether?’ she sug­gested.

“From that day on, Peggy helped me grow stronger in my faith and we have be­come dear friends. Now I see that not only was I wrong to judge Peggy, but she also taught me there’s no bet­ter lunch date in the world than God!”

—Pa­tri­cia Stone, 44, Seat­tle

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