by Joanie Butman
This week I had the privilege of attending Grandparents/Grandfriend Day at the school of my little buddies, Grace and Sam. As a parting gift, we were given seed packets as a reminder of our role in the lives of these youngsters. Planting seeds is not a responsibility to be taken lightly, nor is it confined to the children in our lives. As ambassadors for Christ, we plant seeds through every interaction we have. How we choose to live out our faith speaks louder than any sermon.
As I considered this message, I’m embarrassed to admit that my actions this week did not necessarily reflect the kind of seeds I‘d like to be planting. Apartment hunting in New York will do that to a person. Sadly, age doesn’t afford you any preferential treatment when clawing for space in the West Village. While viewing a potential apartment for my son and his roommates, I was bested by two young men who barreled by me and whipped out cash before I had a chance to react. Not going down without a fight, I appealed to their sense of fairness. Mistakenly, I thought arriving first gave me first right of refusal. The two young men and the realtor looked at me in amusement, “Life’s not fair lady!” It stung to hear the same line I had used on my children so often. Serves me right. I was acting childish.
Life’s not fair – especially when it comes to New York real estate. It’s like the wild west, quickest draw wins. It wasn’t even a nice apartment, but my competitive juices bubbled to the surface along with my Brooklyn attitude. Astounded by their rudeness, I commented,“Seriously guys, you’re going to fight an old lady over this dump?” Reluctantly, I asked the realtor to put me on a waiting list if the application didn’t go through. He responded, “You can if you want, but believe me lady, I’m not going to forget you.” I’m fairly certain my behavior was not the kind he’d remember fondly, nor do I think it was inspirational in any way other than maybe to make him reconsider his chosen line of work. And he did remember me as I ran Into him at another open house later in the week. When I walked in, he welcomed me with an enthusiastic, "Momma's back!" Turns out, those boys didn't get the apartment after all. Perhaps that old adage is true, "What goes around comes around."
I should be grateful life’s not fair. If it were, I’d be doomed. There is no one who experienced the inequity of life more than Jesus – and He did it for me. Acknowledging that reality allows me to extend the same undeserved grace, mercy and love to others. It’s easy to emulate Christian behavior to my grandfriends, Sam and Grace, AND be celebrated for it on Grandparents Day. The challenge as Christians is to do the same for the difficult people we encounter – including New York realtors. In doing so, we honor Jesus and there is no greater reward.
Cash may be king in New York, but it’s worthless in Christ’s Kingdom. What’s more, we don’t need to compete for space in His community. He’s reserved a spot for all who choose to enter. Our fee and security have been paid in full. The only cost to us for admission is surrender. Unfortunately, too many find that price unaffordable. What do you choose?