Wednesday, June 25, 2014
LOVE HURTS! by Linden Malki
A true friend is one who matters--
There is no "reason" for a a special friendship; you may like things about the friend, but they are not the "raison d'etre" for the friendship. It is not earned. It happens--you find that something in them resonates with something in you. There may be an emotional "rush" but it doesn't last. That may be all there is. But hopefully you can find the base of a lasting friendship.
This does not mean that everything is easy. When someone is truly important to you, as a Dorothy Sayers character * says, "you can hurt each other so dreadfully", often without intending to; in fact, often your best intentions make it more devastating when something goes wrong. It can eat away at the underlying trust. This is a real test--can you deal with each other's imperfections in a realistic, non-judgmental way? Can you forgive?
"Forgiveness" does not mean sweeping it under the rug, but choosing to love anyway. It can help you realize the strength of the bond between you. It allows you to tackle the problem as a team--or perhaps simply choose to live with it. It gives you the opportunity to choose your friend over your own self-pity, to get out of your own way.
I think it has taught me something about God. He doesn't love us because we earn it by being good. We can never be good enough on our own. He loves anyway--even when we disappoint Him. He wants us to forgive each other, to suffer with each other, and ask for help and strength. We refuse to forgive, and He grieves. We hurt each other and He hurts with us. If we were perfect (or thought we were) we would depend on ourselves too much and be insufferably proud. We all know people like this, too. He's much more about mercy, and our being real, than about judgment--which He has taken care of for us.
The payoff is that this kind of a friendship is more than 1 + 1 = 2. At best, it's more like 1 + 1= something like 3 1/2. I have never forgotten reading of Elizabeth Taylor's reaction to the death of her husband Mike Todd: "I feel like half a pair of scissors.". Two separate halves of scissors are not any more useful than one; but connected properly they are what they were designed to be. We are designed to be connected; to be friends.
*"Gaudy Night", Miss De Vine to Harriet Vane