It is a normal human response to want to pull away from people when they hurt us. Like reaching your hand into a hot fire, you jerk back when you are burned, and our mind imprints the experience so we never reach in again. We remember the pain. It’s not a feeling we want to repeat.
A few years ago, in a season when my life felt like a merry-go-round, a dear friend and I had a misunderstanding and while we spoke of it, I thought we had resolved it. Then a few months later, when we were both part of a project together, I forgot a piece of that conversation. If you’ve ever had one of those blank memory moments, you know what I mean. I apologized for my absent mindedness, but I feel this friend has kept this misunderstanding wedged between us ever since.
1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us, Love keeps no records of the wrongs.
Gary Chapman has written books about the five love languages we most use. If you haven’t ever read his book, I encourage you to do so. Through his book, I discovered my own love language is gifts of service, with words of affirmation coming in close behind.
While love keeps no records of the wrongs, it does rejoice in the truth.
Internally, we keep records, the bad verses the good. I’d like it to be written inside the hearts of others the memories of the good, so that they may overcome the wrongs and guide us in the direction of being able to forgive and once more love one another.
Over the years, I have reached out to this friend. I have offered my assistance on various projects, sent emails and comments on social networks of encouragement and support in hopes the love I hold for her as a friend is still there.
Love is patient. Love is kind.
In a world of instant gratifications, it is hard to wait for our heart desires. The close bonds we form in relationships don’t always happen instantaneously. They grow over time. They heal over time, and they can become stronger.
We have no control over the feelings of others, but we do have a choice when it comes to our own heart. We can wrap it up and protect it from ever experiencing this kind of pain, or we can treat it with kindness and wait for it to heal over time.
Have you been keeping record? If so, I hope they are the good ones. May you find love in those recordings.
feature photo: flickr creative commons via Quinn Dombrowski
blog photo: flickr creative commons via Lynn