As I left work last night I marveled at the pink and lavender sky as the sun began its descent along the horizon. It had been a pretty good day. I mean, it had been a long day. Thirteen hours on your feet never felt short, and looking at a step-counter on my phone, I had walked a few miles to boot. The patients had been challenging, and I felt a dull throb in my lower back from lifting, pulling, and holding two times my body weight every two hours throughout the day. But still, it had been a pretty good day.
“Thank you for a good day, Lord,” I spoke out loud.
I smiled. Despite the full, long day, despite the weariness around the edges, I felt good. I felt joy. There was a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness was dependent on your situation. The day before I had been very happy while I floated in the pool, but as I made the drive home, feet tired and brain frazzled, I felt that river of contentment flowing through my being.
What made life like this? I wondered.
And just as quickly I thought, the fruit of the spirit.
It seemed to permeate most of my day. It had changed how I interacted with coworkers, patients, a stranger in line at the store, my spouse, and everyone in between. It had changed me. I had not always been so patient or even so kind. I had not always been loving, and I certainly wasn’t the epitome of self-control. Even now, I am the furthest from perfect as anyone can be, but I have seen myself grow over the past few years. And because of such, my life has improved dramatically.
I know why, and I saw something run across the news lately that especially brought this to the forefront of my mind. One huge decision I had made in my life had flipped it upside down, which honestly meant it was right side up. Isn’t it funny how what the world tells us is correct, nine times out of ten, that’s just not true? I discovered real truth is only found in one place, but I’m astounded by how many don’t even consider it as important. I mean, they know it is, but knowing and doing are two different things entirely.
The national news story that I came across happened to have occurred less than fifteen minutes from the town I grew up in, and though I no longer lived there, it made me sad to see such horrible happenings become attached to my hometown. It was disappointing but not altogether surprising. I had been raised there, after all, and I could recall hearing the same thing from some people in the small, Southern Baptist church that I had entered my teenage years attending, but had never returned to after college.
It seems that a woman was caught on video denying wedding services to another woman because the couple to be wed were an interracial couple. You can catch details of the story here, but to sum it up the owner of the establishment stated they were denying their services due to their “Christian” beliefs that interracial marriage was a sin. In other words, she was implying God was against mixing races, and was quoted as saying she “wasn’t going to argue her beliefs.”
I must say I was pleased with the majority response from friends in the area. They were appalled by the situation, and some very strong-worded about it. A few others offered grace, and it was through such a source that I saw a personal response on the owner’s Facebook page a few days later. I have to give the woman applause for admitting she was wrong, and while I in no way condone or approve of her opinion, I do think it was very good for her to publicly admit her fault.
In her public apology, she confessed that she had always assumed this particular instance (interracial relationships) to be mentioned in scripture, but at her husband’s prodding she had found it was not. After studying her Bible and seeking Godly counsel from her pastor, she realized her long-held “belief” was strictly passed down intolerance. Nowhere in the Bible did it claim this to be a sin, but since she had been raised by other humans to believe it was, that became her truth.