There is a man full of bitterness, a neighbor of our friends the Cardoza family. This man will not smile for anything.
Understanding Bitterness in the Heart
The Lord has placed this man on my heart for some time. I suppose it is because somehow I understand him. Our friends her him speak of how he would at least like to be appreciated at his death and how many people will come to his funeral.
You have to understand the way the houses our built here in Nicaragua that our friends could hear the entire conversation as well as the dishes flying around he was violently tossing. Throwing an adult temper tantrum.
Yes, I know what that is like too, to be so frustrated that not even your spouse notices any more just how precious you really are because you have allowed bitterness to take control and joy is such a distant thought.
A person can get so far gone in being bitter that others simply have no way of understanding them.
Attempt to Ease the Tantrum
The son who obviously sees just how ridiculous his dad has become tries to get his attention.
He calls out to him, “Dad, I am sure there will be a whole lot of people at your funeral. I do not doubt it because they will be so glad to see this bitter old man buried.” Needless to say the grumpy man became even more frustrated and angry.
As the Cardoza relay the story of their neighbors they feel for them. How can this man be reached? He does not listen to the Cardoza family who has experienced such blessings of deliverance because of Jesus Christ.
In fact the grumpy old man has tried to call the police on them and complain about their wood fire. The cranky old man out of spite named his dog Armando, which is the name of our friend relaying the account they heard.
Eyes of Grace
I have noticed this man, hard not too. He sits off on the left side on this side of a wall by the river bank across the street from his home. I will admit I struggle with rejection and rather not look his way but my Lord keeps convicting me to see him differently.
Often when at the Cardoza home the man goes to get a bucket of water from the river. I watch him and my Lord fills my heart with grace for him with hope. I know deep down inside this man is someone crying out to be appreciated and encouraged with loving words.
He has let the lack of others viewing him with hopeful desire and wishing him the best get the better of him. So much so his countenance is nothing but bitter.
A Heart of Compassion Beats Within
God in His loving mercy showed me a side of this man of bitterness that perhaps will go unnoticed.
The river had risen Armando, his wife Mercedes and a majority of the neighbors were on alert just in case it should start pouring out of its banks making it quite dangerous for all the homes by the river.
Well, no sooner did the river began to go down that people were ready to head to bed. Armando told Mercedes to rest and he would keep watch. Hours passed and Armando, who was quite exhausted fell asleep and did not take notice that water was entering their home.
Then there was a loud knock at the door. Who do you think it was?
Yes, the grumpy old man yelling that they get out quick. This man rather than run to rescue his own life wanted to make sure the Cardoza family got out safe. I am so thankful that he called them out on time since they have young children and their infant granddaughter. They just made it out.
Armando stayed behind to help wake up other neighbors as well. The river rose about 8 inches in their home and we were thankful it was not a repeat of hurricane Mitch where the Armando and Mercedes nearly lost their lives.
Will Anybody Remember?
I wonder if anyone will remember to show some gratitude to the grumpy old man. Perhaps not, he only did what any other kind citizen would do. How we take for granted these wonderful acts of kindness and forget to be ever grateful.
But one thing I have no doubt now is that grumpy old man cares for my friends. Lord give me the courage to face him, even if he does reject my desire to be kind and thank him.
I pray one day to see this man smile for Jesus has shined and he is alive! Oh what a day that will be. A most impossible prayer if you knew of this man, but I can only be willing and witness of my Lord’s weaving hand.
What would you do to reach out to a person like this?