January 09, 2013
Putting WWJD To Work
The other day, my neighbor, who lives on the second floor of our apartment building, complained about the noise my sons and I were making from our third floor apartment. My mind started going, and I do not mean in the right direction.
"Who does she think she is? She just moved in and she is already complaining."
"Of course she is complaining. She doesn't have any children."
"I told her she should think about moving her bedroom [which is where she hears most of the noise]. Too bad. She doesn't want to listen to me, then she just has to put up with the noise."
Those were some of my thoughts, which were not very charitable.
We are like two sisters fighting, except that we are a bit older. I began to short circuit my selfish and destructive thoughts with more considerate and constructive thoughts. WWJD? What would Jesus do? I asked myself that until ideas came. In my mind, I didn't put Jesus in my place and try to envision how He would handle things. Instead, I brought Jesus in as a mediator [no coincidence, I'm sure] helping both of us.
He would probably be a calming presence and try to get us to meet and talk about this in person. Right now, all communication is done through notes she leaves at my doorstep and banging on the wall and yelling through the floor up to me in my apartment. Thankfully, I have not yelled back down at her and I have not even thought of doing so - until today, that is. "Oh, Jesus, please give me the strength and the courage and the will to redirect my selfish inclinations and do the right thing when so many bones in my body want to do damage."
Jesus would probably suggest we both air out our frustrations, just to vent and get them out there. Then He would probably seek out solutions. I am thinking,"I was here first. Too bad for her. I don't need a solution. That's what happens when someone rents a second-floor apartment. She should have know that. She is just going to have to live with it." Yes, my mind can be so selfish and so immature. I am sure she is having the same party in her head. I say that based on her note at my doorstep and her banging on the wall and yelling.
How do we break this impasse? What would Jesus do? So I start thinking about how He would remind us that we are not only accountable to God, but we actually love Him. If we love Him, do we really want to stay stuck in this battle and pain Him? Is there some way we might find some room to compromise, even in the littlest of ways?
What would Jesus do? He would have us pray together. Since that is not going to happen any time soon, I will continue to pray by myself. I will pray for me and I will pray for her.
And on it goes. I eventually felt a softness, a calm, and I could envision compromise on my part. I had the thought that I might be able to write earlier in the day and night. I found myself assessing my footsteps and thinking I might be able to walk a little lighter so I don't make as much noise. And then I thought, maybe I can go down to her apartment sometime, and ask her to talk, but that one is a challenge. I am not sure it will happen, but the fact I am even considering it is a huge step in breaking the logjam.
Only God knows how our situation will unfold in the end, but I know that with Jesus, I have a chance to handle it charitably and maturely. WWJD?
images - http://www.superiorlabels.com/LKC_Christian-Address-Labels_107_CC.htm