I had a hard conversation last night. One of those conversations that you dread getting into and don’t feel any better at the end. I felt like I was supposed to speak up, but now I don’t know. I could have said some things better, not said some things better. And I find myself thinking about it today. Lucky for me the person that I had the conversation with, we value each other and our relationship more than one awkward conversation that ends in……”well, I’m glad we can be honest with each other.” And this person had the grace to email me afterward, just to affirm that this would not change the way we loved each other. Which I appreciate, I needed.
Sometimes friendship is hard, relationships are hard, community is hard. Sometimes you are caught between saying and not, going or not, waiting or not, and there isn’t a clear right answer. You can’t figure out what the most loving thing to do is. You pray for guidance, but there is still mostly grey, when you are a black and white kind of girl.
You remember the time in the 6th grade when you very sincerely wore your WWJD bracelet, and looked down at it, and contemplated the ramifications of inviting the girl who no one had talked to your entire elementary school career to hang out with you at lunch….and then play with you at recess. You were sort of on the edges of the crowd as it was and you know you are risking a very uncomfortable rest of the year if this goes poorly. But at least that was clear. At least there was a very clear biblical precedent of Jesus inviting the outcast to eat with Him. Jesus would invite this girl. Clearly. So you did, and it worked out.
But right now there are a whole host of things that you don’t know how to respond to. You no longer have the bracelet, but asking the questions embroidered onto it leaves you with a new acronym sixth graders have been using, IDK. You don’t know what Jesus would do. As much as people like to pretend that the behavior of Jesus was completely consistent; that all we have to do is follow a set of rules that are clearly laid out in the Bible, you’ve actually read that book and it isn’t so clear. Jesus responded differently to what seem like the same set of circumstances. And you are neither omniscient nor omnipotent and you don’t want to pretend that you are.
There is just so much grey lately, and you aren’t very good at grey. You just want to do the loving thing……and are afraid of unintentionally doing a very unloving thing in the name of doing a loving thing because you did in fact do the wrong thing in the name of love. And it is all as confusing and jumbled up as that last sentence. You realize that there are times that you will in fact do the exact wrong thing. But that the grace and love that you are trying to extend to others is also extended to yourself. So you rest in the knowledge that that grace is enough, even as you stumble through the grey patches.