To My Noble Friend,
I am often quick to give advice. I like to problem solve. But if you don't like that idea, I can think of another. I know I don't have all the answers but I am certainly one to try to think of lots of different solutions.
Over the last few years I have had a friend facing an interesting challenge. We would often talk about how to handle this situation, we would vent to one another when a new page of the saga was turned on one of us, we would commiserate and pray and hope and dream of a future where we didn't have to deal with this any longer. I was the luckier one because distance allowed me to avoid most of the drama but my friend was tied to it with a web of relationships that intertwined and crossed over and over binding her to the challenge.
I would give her advice or make suggestions about how I would solve the problem. I am quick to cut ties that bind me to darkness and pain and challenge. But my friend, she is quick to show grace. To give unwarranted love to those around her. She is humble and quick to point to her part of the problem, humility incarnate. She is self-sacrificing in the most beautiful and Christ-like way.
Recently, I found myself in a very similar situation. My worlds here overlap. I go to church with people from school, sit in the hockey stands with people from church and school. Relationships overlap and a web is created that cannot be detangled without destroying the very thing you are trying to build. And suddenly all my advice fell flat.
You cannot problem solve people.
You can love others but you cannot make them love you. You can speak the truth but you cannot make people listen. You can give more than you will ever receive. You can humble yourself. You can set boundaries for yourself but you cannot force others to change.
I had never really understood the complexity of my friend's situation. But I do now.
And now I know deeply how noble my friend is.
Because I don't know if I have the patience, the humility, the love that my friend has always shown, even when she never wanted to. Because for my friend, love and grace, emulating Christ in this world, are more important than being right.
I like being right. I like solving problems.
Thanks my noble friend for showing me the way. I don't think I can walk that road as beautifully as you do but I am glad we get to walk together.