Trying to live love well through the power of the Everlasting.
Have you ever found yourself thinking that your life is just one big cycle?
My cycle usually revolves around me screwing up.
Me? Nah. Well… maybe.
My life is pretty much the same circuit: I take a step out, learn some things, grow a lot, and right when I’m feeling pretty good about who I am and what I do… WHAM!
I find out that I’ve screwed up in some terrible way. Now it’s not always “out of the blue” or whatnot – quite often it’s something that I know will probably come back to get me sooner or later. But sometimes it is completely out of the blue. Something I wasn’t expecting at all.
Like this time. I hurt some friends, I think. Badly from the sounds of it. I didn’t see it coming, and still don’t know exactly how. But I do know that it has to do with my words on this blog. Somewhere along the way, I said some things that left at least one good buddy stinging. Open mouth, insert foot.
I’m not sure yet just what it was that I wrote or exactly how it was taken, but that really doesn’t matter at all. I’m not in the least interested in defending myself and rushing to give context to justify “my side” of the story.
Because this guy is my buddy. He’s lived love to me, so very well, over and over so many times that I can’t even count. I love this guy. I love his wife and kids. They are precious to me, having carved out a spot in my heart through time, trials, and testing.
So it doesn’t matter what I said, or what I meant, or how he took it.
What matters is reconciliation, and stepping up to the plate. It’s been on my mind rather heavily today, and I found myself talking to Papa about it. I realized a few things. Well, re-realized them. “Remembered things that I once knew” is the phrase I like to use.
Words are powerful. Recklessly throwing them around has become the norm in Western culture, spurred on by this idea of not being “fake.” I get that. But maybe sometimes I need to stop and remember that it’s entirely possible to retain authenticity and yet carefully filter and choose my words as well. Taking an extra few minutes to form an answer doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m thinking of how to lie to you; most often it means that I”m thinking of how to respond in a way that loves everyone involved well: you and me. Because if I just say what you want me to say, that’s not loving myself well. But if I spout off without thinking, I could end up hurting myself and you with a careless tongue.
So perhaps I also need to be much more careful with my words in my writing, as well. I forget that not everyone reading these posts is privy to my thoughts, and so of course the only thing they’ll have to go on are the words I write. And if those words leave someone I love hurt and bleeding…? Yikes.
I think I’ve learned, these last few days, about loving people well. Again. Deeper. And that’s not so bad, is it? With that perspective I begin to think that sure, I may be in a constant cycle of screwing up, but each time brings a chance to grow a bit more. A chance for the principles of the gospel to expand a bit more in my heart and mind; to become rooted more firmly in my soul and from there to reach out further and more effectively to those around me.
So thank you, Papa, for another chance to understand how to live love better in this life I’m living. I’m sorry for being reckless with my words, and I’m especially sorry for the pain it has caused. I recognize that placing value in people above all else means doing just that: placing more value in my buddy than myself and my ideas and thoughts poured out on a blog. Help me to do that, Papa.
Help me to do just that.