Watching and reflecting on the actions of others, especially when it touches you personally, is hard to do. At times, I find it impossible! It is as if you are taking blow after blow and are doing nothing. Bullies and those looking for short cuts often use this to their advantage; an accusation here, a suggestion there. It never seems to end. Soon “the rumor goes out, ‘He’s got some dirty, deadly disease. The doctors have given up on him.’” (Psalm 41.8)
As one wonders how they get away with it, the reality is both painful and energy sapping. In the midst of it all, as I struggle with my patience, I find hope in the reactions of several friends in my life. Their example has given me several mantras I hold close to my heart.
Acknowledge the actions; consider the source. Hiding from reality is never the answer. Bringing it out into the open with people you trust, God included, makes a difference. It is the first step in healing and stepping towards higher ground. Each time I do this, I feel the embrace of Hope.
Meet fire with water. Responding like for like is never the answer. It adds fire to a situation that is already burning. It takes something volatile and making it more so. The truths that come from their actions suggest that one should respond from higher ground. Do what is right, always. One may not win the war this way but you will never lose it.
Keep in touch with others. Be in and with community. They can defend you in ways you cannot. Each is willing, more than one can imagine. Their friendship will strengthen you. Their words will give your courage and guidance. Enduring becomes a desire instead of a demand.
The jabs and pricks continue. Doing the right thing does not prevent others from taking action, no matter how destructive they might be. The reason for me is compelling; community and taking the right actions creates a wonderful space where I can live and grow.