A wrong for a wrong

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and everyone else.” I Thessalonians 5:15

One of the church elders arrived with his machete to cut the grass around my house.  (By the way, over thirty years in Africa, and I never saw a lawn mower.) When I came home from work, everything was cut down, including the flowers in the bed.

Later that evening the man came to ask how I liked his work.

Seeing his big smile of pride, I couldn’t be angry but had to ask. “Why did you cut these?” I picked up a few sliced blooms.

“I didn’t recognize any of the leaves, stems or flowers as being useful for anything.”

“What do you mean?”

“Can you put them in your sauce to eat?”

I shook my head.

“Are they used to make medicines?”

I frowned.

“What purpose do they serve on this earth?”

“They were beautiful to look at.”

“It must have been a lot of work to make a whole farm like this for something to sit around and look at?”

I choked back a reply and kept my mouth closed.

He pointed. “If you want to watch something nice, can’t you look at a smiling baby, a playing child, a sunset or the stars? These don’t require work just to look at.”


Don’t pay back a wrong for a wrong.

Don’t seek revenge.

Live simply

Be grateful for what you have.

Enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

Don’t waste time looking at the broken-down homes, barren fields or dirty children. Instead see their smiles, their playful antics and the touching way they want to help you.



About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
This entry was posted in missions. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A wrong for a wrong

  1. Tim Jones says:

    Awesome! I am going to post this to our Facebook page. My sermon on Sunday will focus on this theme: “We are reconciled to God to reconcile others!”

  2. Martin LaBar says:

    Amazing how cultures can differ, in ways that don’t affect morals.

  3. Nita says:

    This is so true but very hard to practice. HPwever, I still keep practicing and it gets easier every time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s