Thursday, March 18, 2010

bridge burners

a young lady sat next to a young gentleman on the bus this morning. i remembered thinking that they made for a cute couple as they chatted together. they knew each other previously, that was obvious. they chatted and i went back to focusing on the tunes coming out of my mp3. eventually she got to her stop and i heard her say as she left the bus "oh, we don't speak anymore ... at all". how sad is that?

i've had previous conversations with people where i heard "i just can't get along with him at all. he just behaved like a bastard and we just don't get along". she was talking about her brother. i stop. i pause. how can this be?

i once had my softball team completely implode because someone didn't call someone else and they sat at the ballpark waiting for the start of a cancelled game. it became a bunch of pointing fingers and the end of what i think is still a fractured relationship.

what do you mean, you don't speak? what do you mean you just can't get along? are you kidding me that you think so and so is a such and such over a message that you say you never got?
are your relationships so unimportant to you?

when i've been invested in these relationships myself i remember encouraging those involved to reconcile. i did my peacemaker role as best i could. i do this because i must. i do this because we as followers of Christ are to be in the business of reconciliation.

but he was a bastard Ian! so are you sometimes.
but they forgot me Ian! forgive them.
but i just don't like her ... at all. well, that doesn't make you look very appealing either my friend.

it's amazingly common that we are a people of bridge burners nowadays but let me point out that there will come a time where your need will make it so that you'll need to cross that bridge but you won't be able to. put your torch away and repair your broken relationships.

we're to be in the business of forgiveness
even if we don't feel like it
even if they don't deserve it

you don't deserve it either but you're still forgiven.

if i poked at a nerve then forgive me but don't come anywhere near my bridge with that torch. you'll need to deal with me because i'm not going to write you off. even if you're being annoying.

God give me strength.


Lisa said...

hmm... there are people about whom I've said "we no longer speak" or something to that effect, when asked about them by mutual friends or aquaintances. But I don't think that the fact that we no longer speak has ever been what I desired. Is it different, do you think, if you've made effort after effort at reconciliation, and been shut out at every turn? And then, at what point does one stop initiating? Or does that point ever come?

shallowfrozenwater said...

i don't think we ever have permission to write the relationship off. that also means that i suppose it might not change also if the other person isn't willing to approach the matter. if that is the case then i'm sorry for your relationship, you may end up as the only one holding up hope. stopping initiation may be the only merciful thing left to do but even then the hope for reconciliation of relationship should continue in our own hearts.

seventy times seven is what i keep thinking about.

Lisa said...

The other person is not willing to discuss the matter, and has essentially chosen to end most contact. It's a painful shattering of something that was once "family."

so yes, over and over seventy times seven. And wondering if initiating should end, but not quite able to let go of a relationship I cared deeply about.

such an odd and deep and painful position to be caught in.

shallowfrozenwater said...

i'm sorry Lisa. i truly am. the pain is very real and the absence must be palpable.
pray about the hardening of hearts i suppose and the preventing of further hardening. i wish i had brighter words to offer.

Lisa said...

ah. it is painful, though I've been living with it for a while now, and like most griefs, it dulls a bit with time.

brighter words not required. was just that the post caught at me, and I found myself wondering aloud about my own situation, and thought I'd pose the question :)

thanks for responding!

Christopher Maples said...

What do you think about situations where a friendship is ended "for the best" of both parties?

shallowfrozenwater said...

how is ending a friendship best for anyone? it's probably best for one of the parties but i'd argue that the person doesn't want to do the work of reconciliation. does the situation mean that the other party can't even go say hi? be civil? the person who doesn't want to reconcile may never open the door but perhaps the other should at least be knocking on the door figuratively saying "hi. still here."

shallowfrozenwater said...

don't mess with a restraining order though. you don't want jail time because you want to be liked by everyone in your world.