“Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” C. S. Lewis
So, something pretty wonderful happened yesterday. I had an epiphany. Actually, it was probably the Lord answering several prayers.
Let me back up. I have a friend, Kay. Kay is pretty amazing. We’ve been friends for years. She’s taught me so much and I’ve taught her a few things, too. Kay is beautiful, brilliant, kind, and generous. She’s the most politically savvy woman I’ve ever met. I often joke that when I’m unsure of a candidate or an issue, I call her and ask, “What do I think about this?” And she always knows! She’s a gifted teacher. She’s completely gracious to all. She’s … well, she’s amazing. We’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve argued. We’ve laughed until our stomachs hurt and tears rolled down our faces. We’ve traveled together. We’ve worked together. We know each other’s triumphs and failures. We know each other’s stories, families, secrets, and regrets. Kay is my dearest friend.
And Kay is making a huge mistake.
Kay is facing a life altering decision. And I’m firmly planted in the “DO NOT DO IT!” camp. There are others in the “DO IT. DO IT NOW!” camp. Both sides have reasons. I’ve agonized over this, fearing a wrong decision would ruin her life. I’ve shed tears. I’ve even (briefly) contemplated ending our friendship. I’ve had imaginary talks with her, along with many real ones. I’ve prayed. Oh, how I’ve prayed. Some of my prayers were more like demands and many were heartfelt cries for the Lord to clearly show her what is right, despite what I–or others–say.
And it’s come down to this: deciding for her isn’t an option and it isn’t my job. Hmm. Now this sounds simple, but it was something the Lord had to gently, lovingly show me. He was much kinder with me than I deserve. That’s so like Him, isn’t it?
So, here I am, Kay. I’m officially going on record. (I know she’s smiling as she reads this.) I’m done. I’m done trying to do a job that isn’t mine. I love you. I will always love you and wish you well. I want good for you. In fact, I want God’s best for you. I will continue to pray for you to have His guidance, His voice in your ear. And, Kay, you know how hard this will be for me…I commit to really, really try to keep my voice out if it. Pretty much. Most of the time. (She’s shaking her head now.) My job is to lovingly speak truth to you and pray for you. It is not my job to try to change your mind. It is not my job to judge you. It is not my job to criticize or complain. Go with God, sweet friend. I wish you MUCH JOY!
And I wish you, dear reader, much joy in your journey.
“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Luke 6:31
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:12-15