The Introduction

“Come on, Rocky! Come on!” she cried. “Hurry up!”

“No! No!!” he said shaking his head.

“But…p l e a s e…this is important!”

“I won’t do it,” he said, reluctantly.

Grabbing his arms the young girl literally dragged her second grade classmate, his body and feet flailing, his red hair and freckles nearly glowing with indignation, across the lawn. Determined and insistent, there was no way she was letting go. They needed to do this…it was the proper thing to do! Finally, she had him where she wanted him… Would he bolt and run? She hung on, waiting as they both calmed.

As she slowly released him he said not a word, his fate sealed. With nowhere to go but up, he slowly stood, brushed the grass off his clothes, threw back his shoulders as though nothing unusual had happened, and in his most polite, formal voice introduced himself.

“Hello. I’m Rocky. It’s very nice to meet you.”

The girl’s mother smiled kindly in reply, “Hello, Rocky. It’s very nice to meet you, too.”

Somehow that gracious lady, always careful to never add to another’s embarrassment, kept herself from laughing, even with delight, at the children’s intensity and unconventional approach.

The air seemed to sigh in relief as the three chatted, the girl’s mother eventually kneeling back down to weed the flowers. The sun shone on, nary a shadow marring the grass where the children had tromped and dragged over it. Later, the initial drama apparently forgotten, Rocky headed home, congenially waving goodbye as he ambled down the road. A wonder he didn’t run!

~~~

Relationships can be messy, especially when self wants to be in control. It’s a hard thing learning proper manners, but even more challenging to learn to love properly…caring for one another and interacting in godly ways. As in a choreographed dance God’s patient instructions introduce the steps, teaching us to move together in harmony rather than overpowering each other, or stepping on each other’s toes. Praise God for His infinite wisdom and care, that He keeps teaching us how to live well together in relationship.

Manners were a big thing when I was growing up. Though enthusiastically dragging and depositing my friend at my mother’s feet was not at all mannerly, I will never forget how Rocky’s politeness and composure won the day. Happily, he and I remained friends, though we drifted apart over time. I wonder what he would say were he to tell the story. I’m trusting he forgave me long ago. God bless you, Rocky!

LORD, too often in our rush to do things our way we roll over the feelings and thoughts of others. Help us to slow down and learn of Your perfect ways of relationship. Thank You that Your Word never changes, that the precepts You have given are to grow us up to become more like Jesus. Give us open hearts to learn what You would have us understand, that Your purpose of redemption in this world may begin and grow in each of us. Thank You, LORD, for what You are going to do. We praise You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;”

Ephesians 4:32 “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

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