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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"My Friend Hit Me!"

One of the big disappointments of our friend, Dave Marshall, was that he and his wife Georgia could not have children of their own. So Dave used to play with his friends’ children. He knew he’d become one of them when little Mikey came over one day and rang the doorbell. Georgia answered it and Mikey, with his soft ball, glove, bat and baseball cap stood on the doorstep and said, “Can your little boy come out to play?” Of course Dave dropped everything and joined Mikey and the other kids.

Another day Mikey appeared on the Marshall’s doorstep but this time Dave answered the bell. There stood Mikey and he was a sorry sight with tears running down his freckled cheeks. In trembling voice he looked up at Dave and said, “My friend hit me!”
Inconceivable, isn’t it, that a friend of any age could hit you either physically or verbally? Yet it happens to most of us in a lifetime. You’d think that in a lifetime we might get that problem straight, but lately I have found remnants of those childish resentments that return real or perceived hurts in kind. I’ve seen a few unthoughtful or unkind words ruin lifetime friendships. What a price to pay for resentment! 

There are two people, one quite young and the other quite old, with whom I’ve been having similar difficulties that could put me in the same boat. As with both children and adults “making up“ after a rough patch can be hard on one’s pride. Rehearsing and rehashing and explaining can often reignite the flame. If a little voice inside says, “Drop it!” or “Forget it!” then you have to watch your response. Does it begin with “But...?” That little word is a banana peel under foot!

Today will be a test. I am going to be seeing one of them. At first I said I’d not get together with her. And whom did that hurt? Me! I realized it was not so much the apparent lack of love or appreciation on her part that grieved me as my own diffidence. I cannot bear the burden of lovelessness or indifference to anyone. It’s not in my nature. 

The day is still new and I’m turning over the problem to the One who can open our eyes to a higher, more secure sense of love. If the expected reconciliation doesn’t come today, it will come sometime. My job is to be ready with a clean house and heart.

I feel more comfortable, more myself, now that I’ve written this blog. The lesson I needed to learn was this: it’s not so much another’s love I need as the love I can find within for that other one. I need to love more than to be loved. 

I don’t know what happened between Mikey and his little friend who hit him, but I can almost guarantee they made up more quickly and thoroughly than the big kids do. My friend, Dave, was a small man but he had a big heart. I’d like to have watched that ball game. Oh, to be a little kid again!

P.S. It's about 6:30 p.m. now and guess what? Earlier, soon after posting this blog, I talked to my young friend and after her long silence I realized there had been no, I mean no intentional neglect on her part. Without a mention of problem or explanation her voice on the phone assured me that only love had been there all the time. My worries were for naught!

After that I used that little hand held device called a cell phone and called my older friend. "Hi there!" I said. "Just thought I'd give you a ring to tell you I try to check my e-mail every day but haven't had much of anything personal and I've missed hearing from you. How're you doing?"

"Good to hear from you," she said. "I haven't written much lately myself but there was something I forwarded to you recently. You didn't get it?" Sure enough, there it was hiding amidst the surfeit of ads and junk mail. We had a delightful visit. Nothing wrong. All was well, is well.

Honestly, I was hurting, really hurting, before I wrote the blog. In minutes I learned there was nothing at all to cause that hurt but my own imaginations. Now, I'm saying to you who may read this: Pick up your pen or pencil whenever things are going wrong. Write it out, reason it out, cast it out! Even if you really got hit, you can heal it instantly. Go back to the ball game of life and love and don't hit your friend. Hit that ball!

1 comment:

  1. A bunch of your Blog readers are probably asking themselves, as the disciples asked Jesus when he told them that one of them would betray him, "Lord, is it I?" Hope it's not me, Mom!! I'll be friends with you for ever!! :-)