So on day four of my Lenten pilgrimage, I come with a bit of desolation. Through a heartbreak of my middle daughter, I am reliving and reentering memories of friendships that have been my own heartache. I hold these things before God, but it is another thing to hold them out in public places. Whether my fault or theirs, when friendships end abruptly, it brings a polarity of response: 1. It’s my fault. 2. It’s their fault.
What I want, what I deeply desire, is a new parable ((for girl relationships in particular)) where friends can move in and out of friendships without crushing or being crushed by others. I proposed to my young daughter this metaphor. FRIENDS are so much like shoes. We see them. We are drawn to them. We begin by trying them on and then wearing them. Some are a perfect fit. Some aren’t but we love them anyway. Some we outgrow. Some we loose. ( you get the picture). But if the shoes pinch our toes or give us a blister, it is time to pass them on to someone whose feet will fit them better than ours. Kindly and without malice. And when someone else is wearing those shoes that we thought would always be ours, let’s fight the temptations to be jealous or resentful. We are now closer to finding our favorite and comfortable pair of shoes.
Dear friends, do any of you need a new view on some tricky friendships? How do you lovingly let go of someone?
1. Where did I find God today?
Today I found God in my patient response to interruptions. What grace to let other people need something from you that requires a sacrifice of your agenda. And what grace to have a cheerful attitude about it. My list of hopes and plans for my day were all but left untouched and for some uncommon reason, it did not rob me of my peace. I saw these interruptions as my loving Father showing me a better way for my day than I could have planned for myself.
2. Where did I miss God today?
Today I was heightened in awareness of the deeply broken relationships between people who claim to follow after God. I will include myself in this mess. We know that God offers us paths to unity, but God must know our free will and egos win out generally. If marital brokeness, deep friendship wounds, parent-child estrangement are occurring in the Church, where is God? How do two people so uniquely interpret the path of right living, of love for each other, of marriage? Where are you in all of this unending brokeness between your people? Bring a remedy, please, that I can effectively use to see Your will for our relationships with those who are supposed to be brothers and sisters.
How do theses questions help you notice God today?