Yesterday’s I mentioned my childhood friend, David Brown, and our logging adventures. Our friendship had many ups and downs. He was bigger and more athletic than I was and so he was often selected for playground teams when I was not. I thrived in the classroom, where he often struggled. On most days these differences did not bother us. We were best friends. Occasionally, however, we get into intense disagreements over trivial matters.
I remember the day my mom gave us each an apple to eat. I ate my apple down to the core, savoring every bite. David nibbled around the outside and said it was finished.
I said, “Your apple isn’t finished. You barely started.”
“Oh, my apple is done.”
“No, it’s not!”
“Yes it is!”
He stormed off home and I swore we would never be friends again. But the next morning, I stopped at his house on the way to school and we picked up as if nothing happened, until the next argument erupted.
In Simply Christianity, N. T. Wright describes our hunger and deep desire for relationships and yet our daily struggle to make our relationships work. Wright writes, “We are made for each other. Yet making relationships work, let alone making them flourish, is often remarkably difficult. We all know that we belong to communities, that we were made to be social creatures. Yet there are many times when we are tempted to slam the door and stomp off into the night by ourselves, simultaneously making a statement that we don’t belong anymore and that we want someone to take pity on us , to come to the rescue and comfort us. We all know we belong in relationships, but we can’t quite work out how to get them right. The voice we hear echoing in our heads and our hearts reminding us of both parts of this paradox and its worth pondering” (p. 30). He goes on to suggest that the “echo” we are experiencing is the love God created us to experience with God and our neighbor, but our human sin has clouded and twisted our capacity to give and receive love.
How have you struggled in your relationships? How has God been faithful?