Monday, January 16, 2012

self control: friendships

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.


  1. You have no idea how much I needed this today. Thank you friend. I'm getting out my Sharpie.

  2. i understand what you are saying. My husband says love is the answer. But he doesn't have this problem.