Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Traits of Holiness

                The other night I went to dinner with my family for Monday night football.  Usually just my husband and the boys go to meet with their fantasy football buddies, but the daughter and I tagged along.  One of the guys showed up and asked if I had started a blog yet.  He is a dear military friend who I have known for too many years to remember.  I laughed because I did start the blog that very day.  Then he asked the dreaded question, what is it about?  Hum, how do I answer that question in a short one sentence answer?
                I don’t remember exactly what I answered.  However, I do remember the gist of his reply.  “Oh, I don’t think it is a blog for me.”  My counter reply, “Oh, but it is.  The blog is for the average person.”  We didn’t continue the conversation because he was on the other side of the table, the restaurant was loud; plus, we were watching football.  However, some of my less holy traits are pride and bullheadedness; I was going to write a post just about this friend, for this friend.
                We met about twelve to fourteen years ago in a maintenance unit.  Being in different platoons, I didn’t get to know him until about nine years ago when he applied for a job as a voucher examiner.  I was the lead and fortunately my boss agreed he would be perfect for the job.  Over the years our friendship has grown at work and across a table drinking beer and watching football.  His wife and my husband join us on these outings plus we go out to dinner during the off season.  His integrity is impeccable and his loyalty to friendship brings tears to my eyes.  He annoyingly sees situations in a positive light when I want to just growl.  In the past we have talked a little about church and God.  He doesn’t attend church, but if I remember correctly, he does believe in a higher power. 
                So, how does a guy like this portray holiness?  He isn’t a priest or minister.  He doesn’t attend church.  He is the average Joe, or is he?  In Colossians 3:12 it states, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience”.  For years, he has been very patient with me.  He laughs a lot about my thoughts on the military, but he is also very patient with them.  At work, he displays humility in admitting when he doesn’t know the answer to a problem by finding it.  When he does something wrong, he admits it and immediately goes about fixing it when it is within his power.  My daughter adores him because he has always been gentle with her.
                Going through tough times in life brings out interesting traits in a person’s friends.  While my husband was deployed to Iraq, this friend displayed kindness and heartfelt compassion.  Every day at work he stopped by my cubicle to check up on me and the kids.  If I needed to vent, he sat and we would talk.  For a military guy listening to an emotional wife is not an easy task.  But without him, my life would have been much harder.  His compassion didn’t stop there.  When my husband came home, this dear friend didn’t just welcome him home.  He called, he visited, and he drug my husband out of the house.  Neither my husband nor I could ever thank him enough for all that he did during those trying years.
                This past year we almost lost this friend to medical problems.  Much praying went on in our household for his recovery of numerous surgeries and difficulties.  Even the other night, I was so thankful he could join us for some football.  Sitting around the table at Thanksgiving, we all were stating what we were thankful for.  My oldest said he was thankful that our friend is still here on Earth.  Now I ask you, how can this man’s actions not display the true meaning of what it is to be working on a holy life?  I challenge all of you to think of those “unlikely” people around you.  How are they displaying the traits of compassion and kindness?  Look for it.  See their goodness, their holiness.
                Blessings to you all.

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