I called her the next morning after the fight. She didn’t pick up. So I left a message that was never returned. I never really apologized and instead began to list things in my mind that she had done, as if to tip the scales in my favor…to make me less wrong. And as time passed, I hated myself for the things I had said, wishing I could have taken it back, somehow sucking the air back in. All the while, crushed that our friendship wasn’t really important enough to fight for it. She didn’t fight for me. I didn’t fight for her. We didn’t fight for each other. So we both just let it slip through our fingers into casual runnings into each other around town, polite greetings and glances at phones to excuse ourselves to the busyness calling our names.
And for years, I held a grudge. A simple chip on my shoulder that I held to protect myself. Or so I thought. My expectation of friendship was more than any one person could possibly bear. And expectation can kill any relationship. I expected her to fight for our friendship…she didn’t…neither did I. The sweet fragrance of being united smothered under the weight of expectation.
But God…He says to always look for the very best in others. And make Him my only expectation. That’s what love does. Holding grudges only hurts us. So, I battle against my own hurt, digging and reaching instead to see the best in others. Even when it hurts. Even when the injustice and hurt feelings rage, all but swallowing me whole. The only way to heal is to look for the very best. Confess the pain. Confess the insecurity. Confess my part, because no relationship ever falls on one side. There are always two parts. And in the confession is healing. In the practice of looking is finding. In the surrender and forgiveness is where all the scars stop being tender.
We do not fight against each other. It’s not about the battling here, trying to keep count of how many times I “win”. But who really even ever wins when hurt and despair keep us from being united?
In the midst of the twinge of offense. The scars of insecurity left by broken bonds. Continue the practice of looking, seeking, searching for the very best in others. For it is the only way to really love.
1 Corinthians 13:7 (MSG)
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end