Relationships are messy. The expectations. The hopes and fears. The excitement and disappointments.
Yet, figuring out how to connect with others, more specifically how to love and be loved, stands as our greatest life’s work. So, we enter into the messiness of relationships. Doing so we discover the messiness isn’t an unfortunate byproduct, the struggle and complexity of coming to know and be known by others is where we play and learn and share. In other words, the hardest part about relationships is the very stuff through which we can become vulnerable with and for each other. The messy parts wind up being the best parts.
I’m thinking about the messiness and how it shows up in my life.
From time to time I receive notes and letters written by anonymous authors. Rarely do these pieces offer encouragement and support. Yet, I recognize they are an attempt at relationship. They are meant to offer an opportunity to connect. Unfortunately by their nature – no way to engage in conversation – these attempts at communication only serve to widen the gap in the very relationships they seek to strengthen.
I want to encourage you to let me (and others) know when we hurt you or disappoint you or fail in some way. I also want to suggest the best way to do so is to talk with me/us. Let us hear your story and understand your hurt.
So we can grow in our relationships. So we can work to make it better. Otherwise you bear your pain, your concern, your frustration, alone…anonymous.
In Jesus, God proclaimed being alone and anonymous are not our intended states. In Jesus, we are called to discover the God who knows us better than we know ourselves and loves us anyway. This same God invites us to know and love others. Again, I go so far as to suggest this is the very root of our existence – to be loved by God and then return that love as we love others.
May we accept the risk of being vulnerable to and with each other. May this vulnerability lead us to a deeper understanding of each other. May such understanding help us become more loving.
Life is better together,