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i wrote this (probably in 2011) on the back of a letter i was given and in response to that letter. i found it yesterday while cleaning.

what one person reads as another’s judgement, the other person reads as their attempt to inform. he sees himself as accepting and wanting to enter into a relationship that is honest and deeper. but the receiver, when hurt, will never see it as that and the giver will always wonder what more he could have done.

the giver never knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end, not really. he may be able to relate on the level of feeling judged but he’ll never feel what the receiver feels. and the receiver will feel justified to react as he does just as the giver feels convicted to say what he says. 

so what do we do? do we never speak for fear of offense? do we relegate our speech to areas of expertise, alone? do we only surround ourselves with people who will agree with us so as to avoid conflict?

on either side of any issue, true intent and depth of grace is never really known and can never fully be received because none of us sees clearly, but through the murky lens of all that’s ever caused joy or pain. and so we are given, daily, the challenge of love, the unconditional that we know will never be fully expressed or received. and yet we try. that is all we can do. (but let’s be real–is love in it’s fullness really what we want? or do we want acceptance? i’m not sure the two are the same.)

we try to hold each other up to the Father with more care than for porcelain dolls or antique heirlooms. we try.

we try to treat each equally, giving the benefit of the doubt. we try.

we try to actually allow our minds to confirm to the mind of Christ.

we try.

and we fail. on both sides of any issue, we fail. because we see but through a glass, darkly…we fail. yet we are called to try. and in our efforts, holy power is sometimes able to make things better in the here and now. the rest we’ll understand in the by and by.

until then, we try because if we have life, we can have hope.

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