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Monday, 22 April 2002

The War Between Our genuine Selves

If you and I love each other, we will not always get
along. We will not always speak politely out of our
fear of offending -- because we won�t have such fear.
We will not feel compelled to approve of each other.
We will admire some qualities in each other, but
certainly not all. We will not try to confirm what we
know isn�t true: such as that we are perfect. We will
point a finger at the imperfections in each other, and
that will not be comfortable. At times we will defend
our myths and we will hurt each other in that defense.
We will have to strike hard to tear down each other�s
excuses. And even if we hoist each other up on our
respective shoulders after the conflict, we will
nevertheless bear the bruises we inflicted on each
other. But all this is love.

Love has atrocious manners. It will not tell us what
we want to hear. It will tell us what is true and
right and good. And we will reply that such things are
poppycock, that the world doesn�t live that way and
never did. But love will not give ground; it will
stick to what it knows is real. It will insist on
knowing all there is to know about itself and the one
who is loved. As you can imagine, love has to get very
close to do that.

If you and I love each other, then we are not going
to stand by quietly and watch us do harm to ourselves.
If you are your own worst enemy, if you will do
anything to gain the world�s acceptance, then I am
going to protest -- because I cherish what is genuine
in you and don�t want to see it put aside. You may not
listen to my protests, You may even resent them and
accuse me of trying to run your life -- and that will
hurt me terribly. You may go on about your business
and damage your life in the process. You may put
distance between you and me once again, but it will
not be the same as it was. Because I have broken
through to you and I know well the route.

If you and I love each other -- in the way that
Christ loves us -- it will not be because we are
perfect. Far from it. If we come close enough to love,
then we will know what there is in each of us that is
good and admirable and decent -- but also what is not.
And we will not make excuses for what is not. In fact,
because we love each other, we will throw our weight
on the side of what is good and hope our love will
make the difference in the struggle going on within
each of us. We may grieve when what is good in the one
we love is overwhelmed by what is not, but we will
never pretend that it didn�t happen. Nor will we stop
loving each other -- because we know the person that
we love and we know what a risk we take to love at all.


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