Understanding, with heart and mind, relationships is problematic on a good day. So many things color the view. Pressures in life, the role of “I”, and what we say through our actions, body language, decisions, and choices all play a role. As overwhelming as this side of the equation, when add the other parts in equal measure, the sum become incomprehensible! Everyone brings their pieces to the table, not able to understand their contribution and often confused on how to understand, see, and experience the others.
I continue to be extremely fortunate. Those closest to me in life are extremely gracious in how they react to what I bring to the relationship. It is as if they understand my weaknesses and give me the space by accepting the best I have to offer and responding with grace and understanding to the rest. Many I know walk through life without this space, openness, freedom, support, and nurture.
From and in their gifts of friendship, love, and acceptance, I would offer to you the following observations.
First, it is easy to forget how precious relationships are. Treasure, protect, and nurture the ones you have.
Second, give away acceptance and understanding like it is your only job! This is the currency of mercy.
Third, invest in understanding what others bring. Often we overlook, ignore, and live in ignorance.
In the context of these three comments, examine Jesus’ words when he tried to explain his relationship with those around him. “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more.” (John 15.1, 2)
Everything is open today – relationships with each other and Divinity. We have the opportunity to participate in something miraculous; the gifts of human interaction, love, and the mystery which ties us together. It is at the heart of what it means to be alive. This isn’t the time to sit back and take. Give and live. Accept and be accepted.
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