Meridian Star


April 26, 2014

From the Shepherd's Heart

MERIDIAN — “The integrity of the righteous guides them.” — Prov. 11:3    

Sometimes, it is not so important what happens to us, but how we react to it.     This week a garbage truck drove into my yard and left a giant rut. I will admit that was not something I wished to happen. I went home to check the damage.         When I arrived, I discovered a surprise. The driver had stopped and identified himself as the one who had damaged the yard. He apologized and promised to return after work to repair the damage.

    Hearing of this man’s integrity, I decided I would repair the damage myself to show appreciation for a man who will admit mistakes. I had purchased an extra bag of garden soil the previous weekend. It happened to be just enough soil to fill the rut. The sod folded over the top of the soil and the damage almost disappeared. Soon, no damage will be seen.

    That evening, the driver returned in his car. He brought with him multiple bags of soil and was ready to work. With surprise at the completed repair work, he apologized for the problem. I told him that we had solved the rut, but I celebrated a man of integrity that would try to help.

    I let him know how much I admired such a man.

    We found out that both of us were Christians. We admitted, as Christians, we are meant to be people of integrity and forgiveness. When he said the day had been difficult for both of us, I disagreed. I told him that we had experienced a wonderful day where we had lived appropriately for our Lord even amid mistakes and disappointments.

    I continued, “You are a powerful witness for God in how you came back. Thanks for doing that!” With that, we held hands and prayed, celebrating our brotherhood in Christ. He invited me to attend his church sometime. When the schedule permits, I will be there.

    When I asked him about his plans for the soil in his car, he didn’t know what to say. I recommended he take it home and build a garden for his family. I told him he could let it be a memorial to our day.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if more people would live their Christianity? We all make mistakes. We all get offended. However, we all can apologize, attempt to correct, and forgive.

    Many neighbors had seen the rut. A few saw “our meeting in the street.” They expressed surprise at the actions of the driver and the pastor. We hope they saw Jesus in us! May the integrity we have developed while following Jesus shine forth as we face the challenges of the day!

Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.


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