There was a shooting at a local church on Sunday. Apparently the husband and wife were getting a divorce. On Sunday morning, he opened fire on her when she got out of her vehicle in the church parking lot. Her mother was in the car. Other people were in the parking lot. They all watched the dad and husband gun his wife down in cold blood. It is such a horrific event, that I cannot imagine how it could happen - especially since I know the family.
We lived in the same neighborhood a couple of years ago, and we knew the family well. Ben played basketball with the husband, and I sang in the choir with the wife. I'll have to admit that I never got along with her very well. She was Type A, and I am too. She was outspoken, and I always felt that she was also a bit snobby. She and I were pregnant at the same time, and her poor little boy was born around the same time as G. Actually, now that I think about it, she and I had a lot in common. Maybe we could have been good friends, but I never took the time to even try. I can remember more than once telling Ben that I didn't like her - that she "rubbed me the wrong way". And every time he would tell me to be nice, give her a chance, etc. I never took his advice.
Then, I checked Carrie's blog this morning, and she had also posted about this. As I read on, it really suprised me to realize that the very qualities that annoyed me about this girl, were the qualities that made Carrie want to be her friend. I felt very guilty and ashamed that I'd never given her a chance.
There are so many missed opportunities in this life - to be a friend, to help a person in need. And how often do we overlook those opportunities, because we're too concerned with ourselves. So many times, I will get a thought or a feeling that I should call a friend, write my grandmother, stop by a neighbor's house, etc - but more often than not, I'll ignore the thought. Or think that I'll do it later, when its more convenient.
I really do need to be a better friend. I know that I've been complaining about my neighborhood a lot lately. I've been trying to figure out what it is about where we live now that is different from any other neighborhood, and nothing seems different. I've started thinking that maybe the problem is me - I'm too busy, I've put on weight and don't feel comfortable with myself, everyone already has their friends. Excuses, excuses. So I decided this week that I was going to try and be a better friend. I sat by some women at church that I knew, and we chatted. I even offered to help one of the girls out next week for her lesson. After church, one of them called to borrow an onion for her family's Sunday dinner. I was so happy to help.
I really do need to reach outside of myself.