As many of you guys already know, recently I moved back to North Carolina. July 27, 2011 represented a new chapter in my life and the return to the land of my promotion. On Monday August 1st, just five days after my return to this area, the Holy Spirit led me to a man who, at one point in my life, was considered one of my best friends. We had a powerful friendship indeed! We prayed together, laughed like crazy and really enjoyed great times of fellowship. However, our relationship was deeply damaged because this man told me the truth concerning a situation that was closed to my heart. He told me “Angel, I am going to tell you this even as I feel that this will greatly affect our friendship.” Pridefully, I answered that nothing that he could say could possibly affect our friendship. However, the reality is that our relationship was so affected that we did not speak to each other for a few years.
I was romantically involved and in plans for marriage; my good friend was the only one that actually told me, “This is not the woman for you; it will be hell on earth.” My good friend was a white man in his fifties; my fiancée at the time was Afro-American. When I shared with her my friend’s concerns she skillfully place all under the umbrella of racism; everybody was a racist for her! Everybody and I should say again, everybody that was close to me, had concerns about this relationship. Nobody really approved of it. It had nothing to do with race or color; or this woman being good or bad, we were just not right for one another but I was blinded by pain and confusion. I was going to have myself a wife…period! The special thing about my friend is that he was the only one that had the courage to tell me to my face.
Time has a way of proving people right or wrong! Time proved that this dear brother and friend was right and I was dead wrong. On an e-mail from Jacksonville, Florida I confessed to my friend the hell that I was going through; I admitted then that I was wrong and ask for forgiveness. Even as he responded politely, it was evident that he was not too excited about being my close fiend again. He, in many words, gave me the painful “I told you so!” routine. Later I tried to inquire about his cell phone number but he was very clear that he preferred that we communicate via e-mail only. I took that as my two attempts for reconciliation and I was ready to keep on going my way and for him to keep on going his. “I did my part”, I told myself.
The other day as I showed up to this man’s house unannounced I did not know what to expect, but I had peace. I did not argue with the Holy Spirit or question His voice. I guess, I was missing this dear brother. So it was not hard to drive to his home. I also knew my friend had a lot of guns and rifles so it did crossed my mind,” What about if this guy goes postal on me?”, but it was a brief thought. As I arrived to his house, he was not there, his wife was. She got in contact with him and he stated that he would be back home in about fifteen minutes.
As I saw him and he saw me he asked: “Angel, what in the world are you doing here!” It felt immediately like the good old days. I had the opportunity to tell him face to face that he was right, that I loved him and that I wanted us to be friends again. My friend also humbled himself in areas that he thought he did not handle the situation well. We were indeed ready to truly reconcile; very quickly we were laughing and talking about the present, possible future plans, and giving each other advice about how to pray about certain ministerial situations. I am so glad that I went to see him and I am looking forward to doing great things with this dear friend.
Not all attempts for reconciliation are as easy and pleasant as the one I experienced the other day but I do know that I was not going to be able to go too far in my call to this region without reconciling to my brother. It literally felt like a heavy weight was lifted out of my back; I truly experience a spiritual breakthrough. For in Second Corinthians 5:18-19 the Bible tells us:
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
I come to North Carolina to minister God’s Word in whatever way God wants me to do so. However, even as at times we don’t know the specific of our calling; this we know for sure, we are all called to the Ministry of Reconciliation. Reconciliation is more than just to friends saying I am sorry to each other; reconciliation is “A return to God’s favor.” With my good friend, the other day represented just the beginning; I am excited and looking forward to doing great and mighty things together for the glory of God and for the benefit of God’s people.