It was a seemingly impossible friendship that led to years of conflict. She wanted more of my space, and I wanted more of my space. We would enjoy each other’s company and then have a skirmish, each wishing to erase the other from her life.
In Little Women Amy drops her school slate, and the melting snow washes away the chalk math sums. I think sometimes we wish we could make a difficult relationship go away that easily.
Proverbs 3:3 says, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you… write them on the tablet of your heart.”
At God’s stern prompting I pull out the tablet.
“Get a Sharpie” he says.
“But Lord, permanent ink?”
“Yes, permanent. Write her name.”
So I mechanically write her name on the tablet of my heart, holding on tight to love and faithfulness out of sheer obedience to God. But as I write, something happens in my heart. I begin to see the beauty of who she is. The bitterness and frustration fall away, and in their place I begin to feel love, and I begin to want faithfulness. She is a treasure.
I look down at the tablet, and I see that the name I wrote as a dutiful scribble God has turned into a sweeping calligraphy.
So I keep learning how to be her friend and keep moving toward her and keep loving. And as she has worked to do the same with me, God is bringing a slow but steady healing to our friendship.
When keeping someone close gets challenging, we must control the urge to erase the person from the heart. Love and faithfulness stay.