“Being careful is not as much fun as being friends,” said Frances. “Do you want to be careful, or do you want to be friends?”
This quote comes from one of the delightful Frances books, A Bargain for Frances. Frances gets fooled by her friend Thelma, so she pulls off a stunt to trick Thelma back. But in the end the two decide they’d rather be friends than always have to be wary of each other.
This quote has been in my mind because I find myself in that sticky situation of being an offense, and not knowing how to take it away. I feel the need to tread carefully; one misstep necessitates endless apologies and affirmations. The harder I try to bandage things up, the worse the situation gnarls. I feel as if my very existence is offensive.
It especially hurts when the person I offend is someone I like, and would enjoy being friends with.
(Sometimes I feel that offense coming from a whole group of people, people who are special to me.)
The broken relationship gnaws at my insides.
This morning, God spoke to me. I am the One who has to heal this. Your humility can help pave the way. I am the One who heals.
Humility is not a naturally-occurring virtue of mine, I am ashamed to say. God’s words brought both profound relief that He can heal what I cannot, and a deep desire for Him to show me the path of humility.
In this situation, can I trust God to do the healing?
Can I let go of needing to explain my point of view, even while letting the longing to be understood soften my heart?
I want to be patient with others, just as God is patient with me.
I want to be friends.
How have you worked through times of being offensive to someone you care about? I’d love to hear your experiences and advice!