It is not, for most, any easy thing to approach the subject of someone, someone with whom you are acquainted, is doing something with which one does not agree.
If the person is distance, if one’s governor or pastor or the author of an article one reads, then it is not as hard. The degree of anonymity lends an air, for whatever reason, of authority. For if the objects of one’s censorship or admonition is not one who can (or is likely to) readily respond, why then suddenly one may (often does) criticize freely. Without fear of retribution. Without accountability for one’s actions or words.
And by all this, of course, I mean I do these things. I criticise the politicians and pastors and writers of this world, feeling the freedom to do so because I have the freedom given by the ability to explain myself while the object of my scorn has no such luxury.
But fortunately for me, I am loved, always, far better than I love.
This has been particularly apparent recently, and now, I’m going to narc on the peoplefriends (mamfriends) who have loved me so well this week.
Supermama. I have no doubt that this will come as a surprise to her, as she has a “highly prohibitive conscience,” meaning she’s not particularly inclined to conflict, but she does an excellent job of pointing out when I’ve got faulty logic. Don’t read me wrong here, she doesn’t tromp about yelling at me for being dumb. She usually listens to me talk (sometimes for hours) about this, that, everything and nothing, and ever-so-sweetly asks me questions, clarifies statements, interjects truth. It’s a sweet and a special kind of love that will listen to everything you have to say, and gently care for you heart while still pointing out the sin that lives there.
Pianoanna. Sing us a song, miss piano gal. Pianoanna has loved me in just about every single way. She’s housed me, fed me, discipled me, and been my friend. And probably THE ONLY person in the last three years who has told me when an outfit needed adjusting. Have I probably worn things that needed adjusting other than what she mentioned? Yeah, probably. Not on purpose. But has anyone else ever mentioned it? No. Well… once Q said something about a dress… but we’re not gonna count that cause… it’s my blog and we’re not gonna. ;) IT IS STRAIGHT UP AWKWARD any time you have to tell someone that they are wearing something they shouldn’t. And it is straight up love to do it anyway. She’s also taken up the hefty job or pointing out my bad theology or ugly heart more than once. That. is. commitment.
The gentle one, who speaks in hushed tones and soft touches to her five amazing children just recently joined the ranks. And she didn’t even know it was happening. She read my blog and commented on it, pointing out my folly and offering some rather undeserved grace (well, i guess that’s the point of grace, you don’t earn it) and encouragement.
And finally, Suzy-Q. A few months ago, when I wasn’t sleeping at all and generally ragged at every turn, Suzy-Q asked me for a favor. Except I. in my sleepless delusions, and with my absolutely idolatrous desires to please, saw it as a command. And in turn, ended up sending a text message that was intended as presenting an alternate plan, but came off RUDE. (Uhm…by came off I mean was, by the way).
It ate at her, as well it would have for most, that a younger and by all social standards inferior woman would have so little regard for her. And she’s not just my elder, not just someone. She’s my friend. She’s cared for my heart and, in many ways, my soul, and I hurt her. So what did she do? She told me. She calmly but truthfully explained to me the impact of my unexamined words. And when in tears I explained (though not excused) myself, she forgave me. That’s all. That’s it. She showed me where I was wrong, then she forgave me for being wrong.
These are just a few of the really amazing examples I have in my life. And I wanted to tell you about them because if you ever have the chance to play the role they have played in my life, NO MATTER how the object of your censure responds, they will be in your debt.
Proverbs says so . ;)