A powerful, thought-provoking insight....

Give me a well-trained tongue that has been borne out of silent listening in the sanctuary of my heart.

~ sevensacredpauses by Macrina Wiederkehr

Monday, June 13, 2011

Good Friends Who Speak the Truth in Love

This afternoon I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with a good friend of mine who loves me and knows she can speak the truth to me even when it might be a truth difficult for me to hear. Having a friend like her is an incredible gift of God; a resource that I have come to rely on over the last four years. The cost involved in having a friend like that though is in the reciprocity of the friendship, the covenantal nature of it. If I have a friend who lovingly speaks the truth to me, then I must be willing to do the same in return.

So, when I think of the covenantal nature of our relationship, I think of how scary it is to realize that there is something to be said that isn't quite so easy to be heard, yet there's something in my heart that says, "It's okay." Maybe that's history, perhaps it's God. Relationships like ours don't just happen. We have worked on it; always being honest with each other. Sometimes, it's the fact that we are honest with each other which makes it possible to be honest with ourselves.

Jesus said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. In today's world, sometimes it is hard to understand how our neighbors are in such horrible need. Today's society is all about loving ourselves; yet it all seems so shallow when there are folks being shoved to the margins of society because they are ill with a dementing disease, or because they are homosexual, or because they are transgender. It all seems so shallow when children and families are homeless, are preyed upon by human trafficking predators, go hungry, or don't receive adequate healthcare. It seems so shallow when our government reaches for the programs which feed and clothe the hungry and naked before the programs which build machines of war to provide the cuts and dollars needed to balance a budget--a budget which is so out of kilter with what the country needs.

We need more people who are willing to speak the truth in love...to those they love as well as to those who represent them in government.

Apathy and loving our neighbors do not go together. Life takes work. It is the work that life requires which makes it worth living and celebrating!

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