Getting along with co-workers is not always the easiest thing to do, is it? I’m continuing our story of Fran and Jesus on the Job, as Fran runs into a problem with one of her coworkers. These stories are told to help you understand that Jesus is with you all day on your job and to practice his presence as a result.

On this particular day Fran is rushing to get a proposal finished for an early meeting tomorrow with a new prospect. She thinks, I’ll be glad when this is finished; Marilyn made a few more changes. Now I’ve got to get Joyce to make the changes and re-print it. I just dread even approaching Joyce. She has such a rotten attitude. When you ask her to do anything, she’s as sour as a lemon, she’s lazy, and her work is poor.

She can hear that quiet voice of Jesus say, “Yes, she presents a challenge for you, doesn’t she?”

“Well, challenge is a nice way to put it. She drives me crazy! After all, she is the assistant for the department. It’s her job to help us with these projects. But she acts like she’s doing you a favor when she does her job. I just can’t stand people with lazy attitudes.” Fran expresses her feelings.

“Fran,” Jesus quietly responds, “don’t forget that no one is in your life by accident.”

Fran stops in her tracks to ponder that thought. “No one is in my life by accident? Yeah, but…” Fran pauses. “You mean, Lord, you have purposely allowed Joyce into my life? You want to cause me grief and frustration? What good does Joyce do me?” Fran’s self-centered thoughts are showing.

Again, she can hear Jesus say, “You may not think Joyce is doing you any good, but have you forgotten that often I work in you through other people? And besides, Joyce needs you in her life.”

Fran really doesn’t want to hear that. She knows she should be compassionate and caring toward Joyce, but that’s just asking too much. “Look, Lord, all Joyce has to do is what she’s paid to do. I’m not supposed to baby her when she’s so lazy, am I?”

“No, not baby her, but love her,” Jesus responds. “You know, I love her—just as much as I love you.”

Fran wrinkles her nose. “Frankly, Lord,” she responds, “I thought you had better taste.” She says it with a chuckle, but she knows it reveals her inward feelings. “Besides, how can I love someone I don’t even like?” she asks.