Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Gift of Relationship

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of relationship. I am crafted to be in three-fold relationship ... with you, with the earth and the accompanying universe you created, and with those who walk and talk upon it. In the mystery of your own trinitarian communion, you created me in relationship in order to be in relationship.

You even redeemed us through relationship. You did not send more correct information or more precise doctrine to save us. Instead, you came, you walked, you talked, you healed. You gave your own heart in love in order to draw us close to your heart again.

Now in my present reality, relationships are both my greatest joy and my greatest struggle. Sometimes I am seduced by the illusion that everyone else is supposed to please me and do everything right, or even moreso, that I am able to do the same for them. Where does this come from? Not from you, oh God. Not from scripture.

But we buy into this grand illusion, then wear our feelings on our sleeves as if waiting to pounce on the first person that pushes our pain button. We choose this path out of our desperate need for control, security, and people pleasing, rather than choosing the way of healing.

Lord, the problem in relationships is not difficult people but the fact that I fret so over difficult people. People are going to screw up, be ridiculous, be illogical, be unfair, say the wrong thing, oppose the good, hurt each other, lash out, and make assumptions they shouldn't make. You call me to love them anyway, and to claim my belovedness anyway. And somehow in the loving, I am made more whole.

"Our illusion of independence has sometimes come from the traumas and betrayals in community. We want to distance ourselves from repeating the possibility of any such pain. Heal our wounds, we pray. Stop our flinchin and fleeing when possibilities for intimacy arise." - Luther Smith, "God's Gift of Relationship" in Alive Now.