I sat on the beach, retro polyester crazy quilt covering the shifty sand underneath my feet, and pondered the strange twist of fate that had landed me just here, on the bay, crashing waves in the distance, happy birds in the logs around the happy people and their dogs. We were in Lincoln City, Oregon, the family and the dog wandering and enjoying the sunshine while I laid on the remnants of poor fashion choices and tried to sort these jumbled and confusing thoughts racing through my mind.
A friendship has died. Not quickly but, rather, in a slow, agonizing, flame of harsh words, misunderstandings, and a degree of cold, calculating manipulation that had left me sucker punched and gasping for air.
When you truly pour all you have into relationships only to have the very things carefully sacrificed and intentionally offered then wielded against you like weaponry, the filleting of your heart doesn’t leave much room for reflection and kindness. Offered or given.
That is what happens when you rub shoulders with people. Our weaknesses show through, our feet of clay make us stumble. The realities of our broken places bring disillusionment and, without a constant influx of humble grace, we use our intimacy as ammunition in a civil war matched in its ferocity only by the carnage and distrust it leaves in its wake.
Insecurities rear up, destructive patterns of behavior become more comfortable than developing new ways to live and it all can lead to:
All that remains of shared lives once lived in sweetness is a cataclysm of rage boiling over the edges of hidden resentments shredding what little remained of a facade of fellowship fed by half-truths and excuses.
I don’t have any answers. Anything that could be said, the things I might believe could be shared to bring clarity and resolution would only fuel the fire lit and fed by those hearts long cold to anything these hands could offer.
The sun winked off the rippling waves, something black happily jumped up and bobbed about in the deeper water and I sat back, looked up at the brilliant blue sky, choosing instead of anger and rage to be thankful for a God who understands how to hold my heart when a friendship dies.