Someone else’s rules.

“That’s a Teresa question.”

I was at the hospital the other night in the middle of a difficult situation. The patient was in a hard spot. I needed to talk to her sometime, but I went too soon with not enough grace. And now she didn’t want to talk with me again.

I tried to figure it out on my own, calling a coworker to suggest a solution. After we talked for a bit, she said, “That’s a Teresa question.”

Teresa is our direct supervisor. She was on call for difficult situations, just like this. So I called her. She did some explaining. She did some coaching. She did some encouraging. She based it on our core principles. And she helped me see that finding my own solution wasn’t the best solution.

I relaxed.

I think that when Paul started dictating his letter to the Galatians, he wishes the people had called him like I called Teresa. Instead, they were listening to other voices. Someone was in town saying, “As you are figuring out how to relate to God, forget what Paul said. You need to do this to take care of it yourself.”

Paul starts his letter with “Grace and peace” as he often does. But the grace and peace are fromGod our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”

In that one sentence is good news. It’s the basis for behavior toward God and each other. Paul will unpack it for the rest of the letter. But he’d already unpacked it for the Galatians when he was with them. When he’d trained them like Teresa helped train me.

“Why are you using another hospital’s rules?” Teresa could have asked me, had I acted rather than calling her. “Why are you making up rules?” Paul asks the Galatians.