Relationships- Love Endures All Things
My Dad's passing was a mile marker and a time of reflection. As I considered my father's life and all that he meant to his family and friends. I was struck how interwoven his life was with those around him. Psalms 103 tell us that a man's days are as the flowers in the Field. That when he is dead his place will remember him no more
Psalms 10315-16 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more
What a sad truth. Despite the fact that he was a vital part of my life and the life of others, in time, my descendants may forget he ever existed. Indeed his place will remember him no more, unless, there are those who keep his memory alive. Those who loved him as I did. Those who felt his life was more then a single vapor that disappears into thin air.
In my research into my family history, I discovered that the more loved the father was the more abundant were the stories of his life. Allowing his decedents to keep his memory alive. I expect that my father will be longed remembered. His place will be reminded on a regular bases who once occupied its soil.
A Time of Reflecting
I can't see a loved one pass with out taking stock of my life and how I have effected those around me. As I walk though the memories that each person has left, there are those to whom my thoughts are painfully drawn. Causing me to linger obsessively as I gaze at their portrait in my mind. Recalling the impact we made on each other. I find myself dwelling on the points of regret and pain. Those things I wished I could change. Many offenses are my fault, others were their fault, but in the end they all represent failure to me. Moments in time that stop my advancement. Keeping me emotionally frozen in one point of time.
With some, grief and betrayal seems to be the dominate emotion. I replay the words they spoke in anger, The callousness of their action, the ease in which they turned on me. Making me feel foolish for ever trusting them, for being so vulnerable.
Funny thing about betrayal, only those you love can truly betray you.
In time, grief and betrayal gave way to regret. As I stare at their picture in my mind the words IF ONLY seems to appear stamped diagonally over their portrait. "If only I had done this" or "If only I had acted in this manner!" If only I hadn't said that! Perhaps if I had loved them more! Oh the if onlys, there are so many. However, if onlys, exist in fantasies. I must deal with reality. I can learn from the if onlys, but it is what I did and do that counts.
I tell my self to move on for these memories are to painful. So, for a time, I forget my misery and look upon galleries that bring me joy. For their are many. Those precious people whom have returned my love. Yet, in those quite times when all but me are going to sleep, my mind drifts back to that one gallery to fret once more over the lost past.
I am learning that I must let go of the past if I am ever to move forward. If I have done all that I know to do to resolve the problems then I must trust God to make up the difference. At some point, I have to simply say, I will love you any way! Lets put this behind us, take what we learned from this ordeal, and allow it to make us better people. It is time to start over!
Relationships are two ways streets. I can't point my finger with out pointing back at myself. People are reactionary. They tend to react to something I did to them. Which from my perspective is ridiculous, since I am reacting to what they did to me.
I tend to jump to conclusions. I prejudge a persons intention before I have all the facts. Out of fear of rejection, I become paranoid. The enemy of my soul is always eager to provide me with an interpretation of a person's actions. Trouble comes when I subscribe to his interpretation. I tend to assume the worst. It is here that I get paranoid. To my surprise I am finding that everyone is not out to get me. If I will bite my tongue and refuse to react, the truth reveals itself in time.
Even so, there are those times when I have been maliciously treated. Purposely betrayed. I bet you can relate. I suspect we all have a Judas. In truth it all boils down to love and forgiveness. Do I love the other person enough to forgive them? Am I willing to let this offense go, however severe it may be? It is here that my character is exposed, It is here that I discover who I am. It is here that I discover weather or not I can be like Jesus.
I wonder, can I forgive even when they know what they do?
Betrayal cuts a deep wound for sure, but it is a wound that I can heal from if I am willing to say, "I love you anyway!" and "Lets move on!" When I find myself laying awake at night scratching at a the scars left by grief and regret. I ask myself if there is anything I can do to restore the relationship. If so, I purpose to go and do it. If not, I must give it to God, allow Him to be a healing Balm. Time has a way of mending bones and healing wounds. Given time, God has a way of mending relationships, if am willing to forgive.
It is my desire to be well remembered by those that I leave behind. That my place remember me long after I am gone. Good or Bad, how I treat others will impact their life. Consider 1st Corinthians 13. If I can apply its truths to my life, my memory may very well go on forever.
1 Corinthians 13
The Greatest Gift
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Your brother in Christ