I know someone who lost everything recently except for what she could carry on the day she and her son were evicted, but she had the capacity for forgiveness. She sat down and prayed with someone from CAP UK who had come to support her for the very people who were taking her to court. One of them had stood up and said she was not happy with the process and was not willing to go on with it. I hope she is reading this and knows now that our friend prayed for her that day. The capacity to forgive is probably the most powerful thing that we can have. It lifts us out of the mirey clay (quite literally today) and gives us back a quiet confidence that nothing that cannot be replaced has been taken from our spirits. When someone makes me angry, until that anger is dealt with, it has power over me, not the other way around.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Where was our friend? Not in her own home, but forced to stay as an unexpected guest of friends: not the easiest situation I know from my own experience. When we bought our house here, we had to make the difficult decision to give up our rented house as the tenancy was up for renewal and had to live with friends for a while. It's never easy, even with such loving and generous people as these. Bonds of friendship were tested - and I think strengthened as a result. Our friend could have easily (and understandably) succumbed to depression and despair, but she didn't. Why not? For a start, she has natural courage and resilience. Secondly, she wasn't on her own. She had her son with her and has as strong a maternal protection instinct as any female tiger. Thirdly, although there were difficulties and times when she wanted to hide in her room, she knew she had the loving support of people who regarded her not just as a friend, but as family, with bonds that transcend class and race. They follow the maxim, "Preach the gospel. Use words if you have to." Do what you can (open your hearts), with what you have (a spare room), where you are (with their own young family and many, many time-consuming commitments). They did it. Our friend made it. We are all stronger as a result.