Loved Into the Hearts of Others
He was a person who always kept his distance from me. Oh, he was polite and we got along all right, but my attempts to become closer were always rebuffed. Maybe it was just me or perhaps he was someone who simply maintained his distance from people. No, he went out of his way to be friendly with others. So, I decided to keep the door ajar but accepted the reality we would never get closer.
A few months later I saw him again. He was unusually friendly. Matter of fact, he chose to sit next to me at a meeting. He had definitely changed. By the end of the year we were much closer, and our conversations and interactions were much deeper than, “Hi, how are you doing?” What caused the change towards me?
It took me almost a year to put two and two together. A dear friend of mine worked closely with this person during this period. The more they worked together, the friendlier this person was towards me. “That’s it!” I said to myself one day. My dear friend had “loved me into his heart”. My dear friend spoke of me to this person as a dear friend. “Sure, Mettey’s got his faults,” but in spite of them my friend loved me and, again, “loved me into this person’s heart”.
CONSIDER how this person began seeing me through the eyes of my dear friend, and because he loved and respected my dear friend… “Well, a friend of yours can’t be all that bad!” And so we also became friends.
What we say is powerful. James says the tongue is “a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (3:8)“With [the tongue] we praise our Lord and Father and with it curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.” (3:9)
We can either raise or lower someone in the eyes of another. May the God who raised Jesus from the dead be the God of our conversations. And may our conversations raise people, as we “love them into the hearts of others”.
Rev. Wendell Mettey
April 2, 1991