The Boat of Friendship Could Have Overturned

When I was a child, my grandfather told me, “One should be accommodating, not be stingy, and be able to suffer losses. Only thus can we get along with each other.” Although knowing what these words meant, it was difficult for me to practice, for it kept my perspective that I would go through many sufferings if I did according to these words.

After my mother began to believe in the Lord, she told me the Lord’s teachings: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). She also told me I must practice the teachings as a Christian, that the Lord is faithful, and that I could totally do it by relying on the Lord. But I, without experience, only regarded the teachings as a goal I pursued, yet I haven’t done it.

Since finishing school in 2016, I have worked abroad to make a living. Starting from nothing, I had a hard time. My good friend Xiaoli and I shared an apartment which was not far from my company. However, the rent was too high. Therefore, we needed a new roommate to share our apartment in order to reduce our financial stress.

A month later, Xiaoli told me a new friend would come to live with us in several days. At that moment, in my hurry to leave, I just said “Oh” to her without asking more about the new friend and then went out.

Two days later, the new friend Miaomiao came to live with us. She is kind-hearted and not eloquent, and then Xiaoli and I “directed” her, “This is your room, that is the kitchen, you can put your bags here, you can use the wardrobe over there.” Everything was taken care of and then we said goodnight to each other.

The following day, there was a change in my life and my mood also began to change. Exactly speaking, my spiritual life started to grow as well.

It was a Saturday, and I needed to get up early to work overtime at home. To avoid waking my roommates up in the early morning, the night before, I carried my computer to the corner of the living room by the balcony, but my computer desk was occupied by Miaomiao. After finishing the work, I wanted to carry my computer back to the desk, but was too ashamed to tell her. In my opinion, it would be impolite to ask her to leave the desk. For this reason, I purposely came back to fetch some things which were on the desk several times, implying to her, “This is my desk, I want it back.” But she couldn’t seem to understand my meaning.

In the evening, seeing Miaomiao sitting leisurely at the desk, I wanted to blow up on her. However, for the sake of saving face, I had no choice but to hold my anger inside. Then sitting sadly on the sofa, I felt awful and thought, “As an adult, how come you aren’t really that polite and don’t respect others? Do you know how hard it was to carry this desk? You use it as you wish, aren’t you a little out of line? My anger and grievance gushed up inside me.

Although I felt aggrieved, I remembered the Lord taught us to love others as ourselves. As a believer, I should express God and glorify Him. It was just a desk, I should have a love for Miaomiao and give her my desk. Even though guiding myself like this, I still felt uncomfortable. There was a fierce battle in my mind, “Should I give it to her or not? Loving others as myself is the Lord’s teaching, and I should follow it. But if I do so, I will lose my desk. In addition, I have to buy another one and then carry it home again. This is a bad bargain. What’s more, this desk has particular significance for me, so I don’t want to lose it. Is she worthy to be loved and understood by me? I was so sad that I almost cried.

To calm myself down and not let myself cry, I opened Facebook and skimmed through my messages. But my tears of grievance still rolled out. My heart was in torment and I prayed to God constantly to change my heart. In a little while, the scenes came to my mind that my family looked after me and that brothers and sisters of the church cared for each other. Suddenly, realizing that God had heard my prayer, I became calm and woke up. I began to reflect on why I felt so bitter and aggrieved. It is because I took a lot of trouble to carry this desk home, but now it is used by Miaomiao. There is nothing in it for me. I think this unfamiliar person isn’t worthy of my sacrifices and care. What I have revealed is a selfish disposition. I can’t consider things for others or think of others, which reveals that I have no love, care or help for others. In fact, this is a tiny thing, but because I was selfish and mean, I only considered my own interest and didn’t have any compassion or consideration, much less did I take care of others, therefore I lived in such pain. It turned out that the reason why I felt uncomfortable wasn’t because I lost my desk, but because I lived without love due to my selfish disposition.

I recalled the Lord’s love and salvation, His selfless dedication and sacrifices. For the sake of saving us humans, He became flesh and came to the earth from heaven, suffering pain and humiliation. At last He was crucified for us. For this reason, we could survive until today. However, I, a small creation, always selfishly sought everything I wanted, but I was never satiable or accommodating to others. I then decided, this time I must betray my flesh and can’t let the teachings told by my mother and grandfather come to nothing. More importantly, the Lord’s words are the truth, the way, and the life. I, a believer in the Lord, should practice the Lord’s words, live out the likeness that God asked us to, and love others as myself.

Thinking back to the time when I just arrived in France, I felt lonely and helpless. It was the brothers and sisters of the church who offered me their loving hands, and then I slowly adapted to the environment. Then I pondered, “Likewise, Miaomiao has just come to this strange place, and she also needs others’ care and help. Now if I give her a little love and help, she will feel warm in this family. What a wonderful thing it is!” Thinking of that, my pain in my heart disappeared. Then I decided to give her the desk.

To my surprise, when I changed, the environment also changed.

The following day, at about 10 a.m., a friend whom I was out of touch with for a long time called me and said that she would give me a desk. I asked her in amazement, “How did you know we lack a desk?” She answered, “I didn’t know.”

At that moment, I was moved to tears. It turned out that God knew all of this. He is beside me, inspecting everything that happens. He knows what I need, and even more knows my needs in my spiritual life. At that time I not only got a desk and a roommate named Miaomiao, but also experienced God’s love and learned to love others.

The desk which my friend gave me was better than my previous one. After carrying it home, I gave it to Miaomiao and she liked it too. Seeing this new desk and the smiling face on my roommate Miaomiao, my heart was full of joy.

Now I have experienced that if we put aside our own benefit, practice the Lord’s words, care about and help others more, and are less selfish, then we will get along well with others and our life will be extraordinary.

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