[David said] “If you have come in peace and to help me, you are most welcome to join this company…” 1 Chronicles 12:17
Early in our marriage we moved to Nebraska, and I made friends with a next door neighbor, also named Linda. A few months later , we moved a few blocks away, and our relationship changed–like “out of sight, out of mind.” I missed Linda, her quiet mannerism, and our chats. I continued to invite her for coffee and to parties, but she never came. My heart hurt… and I wondered if I had done or said something to end the relationship. I finally gave up. Months later I saw her at a grocery store, and she chatted with me as if we were old buddies.
In 1 Chronicles, we read that King Saul is dead, by his own hand, and now David is the king. Some of Saul’s most eager fighters defected Saul’s army to join David in his fight against the Philistines. David didn’t ask them of their intentions, but boldly said, “If you have come in peace and to help me, you are welcome ….” But he added, “If you have come to betray me to my enemies, innocent as I am, the God of our ancestors will see through you and bring judgment on you.” (vs. 17) They became friends in their mission.
I think of Linda and wonder about that day in the grocery store. Did her friendly chatter mean she wanted another chance at being friends–she’d come back to my side? But I didn’t trust her enough to welcome her into my heart. I never saw her again. Only God knows if I missed the opportunity for a lifelong friend.
Dear Lord, help us to open our minds and hearts to those who wish to come in peace. Amen.