I met a family today who had some flowers they wanted to donate to a local retirement community. Now I don't know anything about flowers, but I enjoy watching people smile, so I volunteered to take them where they needed to go. With great excitement, I drove to my destination and carried them inside the front door. The young lady who worked the front desk was thrilled to see the arrangements. She told me where to put them, so I followed her instructions. While she was thanking me for delivering them, another lady walked up. She was obviously older than the young lady who worked the front desk.
The older lady asked me what I was doing. I told her a family had donated the flowers to them and I was just the delivery guy. Then she proceeded to tell me what she did not like about the arrangements. She was not a happy camper. I could tell this was not one of her better days. So I tried a few different types of responses, but nothing seemed to appease her. Finally, she blurted out to me that she recently turned 100 years old.
I stopped and looked at her. "Did you say you are 100 years old?" She replied, "I sure did." "Well then, congratulations. And you sure do look great!" Finally, a smile appeared on her face. "Thank you. I really appreciate it!", she said.
A breakthrough happened. Peace prevailed. And we ended our conversation on a positive note. Man, I sure was thankful!
As I sit here reflecting on this experience, the following scripture comes to my mind: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Those are the words of Proverbs 15:1. The point of the verse is that we can use peaceful, gentle words to make conversations calm, or we can use rude, aggressive words to make conversations unpleasant. The choice is ours to make.
I'm so glad I met the 100 year old lady. And I bet she is a fine person who is loved by her family and friends. But most of all, I'm glad God reminded me of the high value in being a gentle peacemaker who gets along with others.
Let's choose our words carefully.
Let's turn away anger by handling people with a Christ-like love.
Let's live in peace with our fellow man.