Life is crazy. It’s busy. It’s hard. So often, our days get full of stuff. Obligations. And, many times, our day is interrupted by something unexpected that causes us to not fulfill those obligations and feel like we got nothing done.

I am fortunate to be a part of a great group of people who meet weekly for prayer. Every Monday, we worship God, pray for each other, give praise reports and take communion. Recently, one of the women who attends the group had one of those interruptions. Her mom passed away. That Monday, our group met and we prayed for her and her family as they went through such a difficult time. Our hearts and prayers went out to her and sweet little messages were sent to her.

This week, she was back at our prayer meeting. During the meeting, we passed out the communion elements and another woman in our group stood to lead us in taking communion. I don’t think I’ll ever forget what she said and I hope I don’t.

She said that before we started, she wanted to say something, and she turned to the woman who had lost her mother. She said, “I need to apologize to you. You lost your mom. You were hurting and I should have been there for you. I should have called you. I should have come to your house and hugged you and loved on you. And, I’m sorry.”

She continued on about how much our group loved her but failed to be there when she needed us most. And many of us followed suit in apologizing for not being what God has called us to be for this hurting family. It really convicted me. And, I thought of another set of people who I, personally, needed to apologize to as well.

How often do we get too busy? All the “stuff” and “things” in our lives get in the way of what really matters. People are hurting. They’re going through tough things. We need to be available to those who God places in our lives, even if that means not being able to check something of our to-do list.

It also gave me a whole new perspective on Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:23-24.

23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Maybe we focus too much on the “your brother has something against you” part. We think, I’m not mad at anyone and no one is mad at me. The woman who lost her mom was never upset with any of us, but she was wronged. Maybe the problem is not all the things we have done, but all the things we haven’t.

-Whitney