The fallen leaves left hidden during winter rustle in the breeze as I wait for my guest on the tearoom’s patio. The warm spring air brings a smile to my face and I can almost see the buds growing on the trees. Finally the dead season is gone, but as I survey the area I see the mess it left behind in its quake. Garbage trapped in the corners of parking lots while salt and sand accumulate in piles, ready to be swept away.
Time for a good spring cleaning.
Just like our own lives. I think about what I have trapped under a season of dormancy. What do I need to mop out of the corners of my rooms?
Robins chirp in the surrounding trees. Their songs hush the urgency of the moving traffic in the nearby streets, stilling the moment. Could I bottle the calmness in my spirit to be used when needed?
If only it was that simple.
Footsteps approach and snap me from my serenity. I stand and greet one of King David’s wives. I motion for her to sit.
“Abigail, thanks for agreeing to meet with me.”
“My pleasure.” A gold headband holds her dark brown curls in place, but a few escape as she sits, cascading around her face. The cornflower blue hooded tunic emphasizes her sky-colored eyes.
No wonder David fell so quickly for this captivating beauty.
I open my journal and secure the corners with a clip to prevent the breeze from interrupting our conversation. “Is it okay to sit out here? It’s such a beautiful day.”
“Of course. Where would you like to start?”
“Okay, I have to ask and my readers also want to know. How does someone as beautiful and intelligent as you end up with someone like Nabal?”
“Lucky, I guess.” She chuckles. “Or unlucky. He was rich. My father liked the dowry. End of story.”
“That must have been hard when you didn’t love him.”
“It was,” she whispers.
“Nabal was rude and abusive to everyone around him, including you. How did you find strength to live with an ungodly husband and maintain your dignity?”
Her gaze follows a nearby robin as it chases after another, fighting over discarded bread. The quarrelling duo holds her attention.
Could it be reminding her of a past memory?
A horn honks, jarring her back to our conversation. “Jehovah gave me strength. He kept telling me to look towards the light and wait upon Him, so that’s what I did.”
“But how did you see God in the midst of your pain?”
“When I finally surrendered and let go. I began to see Him in the little things. He reminded me He knew the bigger picture.”
Her eyes sparkle in the sunlight.
“You mean David.”
“Yes. God sent him to me just at the right time.”
I lean back and think over the past few weeks of my own life, reflecting on her words.
Right time. How do we distinguish between God’s timing and ours?
The barista comes to take our order and interrupts my thought process. Abigail picks a chai tea latte. I choose a peppermint tea to soothe the ache descending upon my stomach.
As if sensing my mood change, Abigail places her hand on mine. “Let me explain. I tried to change Nabal. I wanted to lighten his roughness by being the perfect wife. I went to those he was rude to and offered gifts, hoping it would bring peace to the land. I was determined to control it.”
Her lips purse and she fiddles with the sleeve on her tunic. “It didn’t work. He got worse. Unbearable. He was drunk during the sheep shearing time and in a terrible mood. It was then I finally gave up. Let go.”
“And God sent David.”
I whistle. I get it. When it’s God’s timing, things fall into place perfectly. When it’s ours, it doesn’t. When will I learn?
I check my questions to put myself back on topic. “One of the servants came running to tell you how rude Nabal was to David’s men. And that David was about to attack. You didn’t think twice and took action right away. Weren’t you scared your husband would find out?”
Our teas arrive and she takes a sip. “I didn’t have time to think about him. My dear servants, my friends, were about to be killed. I wasn’t worried about my life. I had to save them.”
“The peacemaker. Your generosity saved lives that day.”
She shrugs as if it was no big deal. “I did what God told me to do.”
“And then He gave you David.”
Her cheeks flush. “Yes. He took my breath away.”
“Did you make a rash decision in marrying David?”
“Some might think so, but no, God pushed me. Sometimes He does that. It was what He wanted.”
“All part of His master plan.”
“How did you convince David not to attack that day?”
“I took the blame upon myself so he would listen to me. Then I simply reminded him of his own values. He was not a killer at heart. Also, to do so wouldn’t be a good political move for him.”
“You are a true peacemaker. And in the end, God rewarded you for it.”
She finishes her latte and smiles.
A thought races to the forefront of my mind.
Do I try and be the peacemaker in tough situations? Or do I take sides? Perhaps Abigail’s story is not only teaching me to trust in His timing, but reminding me of this important fact.
Every dispute has more than one side.
And I need to hear it all before giving my thoughts—without judgment.
That’s a tough one.
We need to rein in our attitudes and become peacemakers.
That’s what Jesus would do.
Do you find it hard to be a peacemaker? Share your thoughts.
Matthew 5:9 (VOICE)
Blessed are the peacemakers—they will be called children of God.