Sunday, January 24, 2010

Motivate Me Monday-Mercy

Fifth Street Palace
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7

Some of you know that Craig and I own a few rental properties in a not so good part of the big city an hour away.
The people who live there are often very low income, disabled, or have addictions of some sort.  Often all three and more.
In the last couple of months I had taken it upon myself to give our tenants some tough love.  You know make them step up and take some responsibility for their actions.
Let me tell you a story:

We had a man named Bob (name changed) living in one of our basement suites. He wasn't happy with the other folks living in the building.  So I offered to let him rent the small house we have across the street.  He accepted.
Well let me tell you this man's appartment was a really big mess. (I will spare you the details to protect your gag reflex).  I gave him a week to have it showable.  By showable that meant that the floors, walls, bathroom, kitchen (fridge stove and cupboards) needed to be cleaned and there could be no dirty dishes left for weeks.  The deadline was Wednesday.  Monday I get a phone call complaining that he could not have the place cleaned by Wednesday.  Bob claimed that he didn't have any cleaners or money to buy them. Well that is not my responsibility.  Use dish soap to wash the walls, Use vinegar to mop the floor.  Find a solution.  I threatened him with keeping his damage deposit and hung up the phone.  (Tough love with a small side of bullying to get my way).

My dear husband Craig came home and I lamented about the terrible time I was having with Bob and how the guy is almost 50 years old and needs to take some responsibility for his life.

Do you know what Craig said to me?
Let me tell you!

He said "How can we help?"

Well smack me silly.  Help?  I hadn't even thought of helping.

When we bought properties in this neighborhood one of our reasons was to minister to the people living there. 

I was not ministering or showing love or being merciful in the least.

Mercy:  compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence.

Craig's words changed the way I handle my tenants now.  I am learning to ask "How can I help?" when a problem arises.

Now it's your turn.  Link up below with your motivational and inspirational stories.


Mel at Adventures of Mel said...

Wow, I don't think I would have been showing a lot of mercy either.:) What Craig said sounds a lot like what Dan (my husband) might have said too....and I would have been the one hanging up the phone.:) That definition of mercy really hit me in the forehead too....I'd never heard it put that way. Thank you for posting really puts into perspective a little situation we've had with a "friend." Thanks for posting this, Sarah.

Jackie said...

Thank you for sharing this, Sarah. I love what your husband said. It is so easy to be judgmental. I think we all have had times when we wonder why people can't be more like us. Thanks for the reminder that we need to ask how we can help.

Teri Lynne Underwood said...

Oh girl! I too am married to a man with the incredible gift of mercy/compassion! And so often he refocuses me.

Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

You are an amazing landlord. I have never met one that was willing to help the renters. Kudos to you!

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