We were made for this.


The sunrise signals a new day and a new beginning.

As I skimmed my Facebook newsfeed today, a quote from a homeschooling blog post caught my eye.

If our homeschool has any hope for success, I must maintain my heart for my children. ~ Jena Borah, At the Heart of Homeschooling.

This is wildly true of my relationship with each of my three children. While there are many things they need to learn during our years of schooling together, what they will take with them academically won’t impact their lives nearly so much as what they will take with them emotionally.

Like most parents, I find it fairly easy with intention to maintain my heart toward my children. I do not always find it as easy to do in my other relationships, with my spouse at times, certain family members, friends and acquaintances. Relationships can so easily become weighted down by disappointment, misunderstanding, and hurt.

Yet the quote could easily be rewritten to say that if my relationships are to have any hope of success, I must maintain my heart for the people in my life — even the difficult ones.

The Internet is full of advice about what to do when you discover someone in your life to be toxic or narcissistic — and the advice basically amounts to: RUN!

There may indeed be times when it is wise to run. But it’s difficult to maintain your heart for someone when you do.

Perhaps this is why the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son didn’t hide from the son who had brought such misery, worry and disappointment into his life — but ran toward him so the people of the community they shared might not shun him since they now saw not the son’s, but the father’s, shame.

Why the Shepherd in the Parable of the Lost Sheep didn’t stop searching for his renegade sheep.

Why Triune God birthed humanity permanently into its very heart and soul with full knowledge of all that it would entail.

Like the characters in the parables that paint pictures of them, they have never stopped maintaining their hearts for us. They never will. In so doing, they have not held our wrongs against us. They have never once turned their backs or waited for us to act correctly so they can act lovingly.

It’s a daunting example to follow because many of us have been seriously hurt by people in our lives and have learned to build barriers of self-protection. I don’t blame anyone for doing so.

But I have also seen cases where people who had every right to insulate themselves from individuals in their lives who caused them distress refused to do so because they truly loved them. The effects of their decisions may never be realised in this life, but I believe the ripples carry into eternity and will be realised there. May we all be so blessed as to be able to look back and see people in our lives who never gave up on us though we gave them every reason to.

Those are the people I aspire to be and while I would never downplay the pain endured by those who feel forced to keep a distance from those who have brought it into their lives, I also know how good it feels to let go of the garden variety grievances that most often plague my relationships and do the most harm.

The cross words. The criticisms. The failures to apologise. The over-stepping. The judgments. The not always being there.

These things sting, yes. But generally, if we’re honest, they don’t amount to much in the end. So often my interpretation of a series of events lacks critical information and my inability to read anyone’s mind.

It’s so much better to let them go and to grant a loved one a clean slate as often as necessary. Deserved by the individual in our human terms or not, it feels so good to do so because we were made for this. It’s in our DNA just as it is in the “DNA” of Triune God. When we refuse to forgive, we are fighting our God-given natures and this is why it burns us from the inside out.

Triune God has shown us through their actions that every human deserves a clean slate and a new beginning with no strings attached. They grant one to each of us with every sunrise, every heartbeat. By maintaining our hearts toward the people in our lives, we follow them in one of the best ways possible.

~ by Jeannine Buntrock

1 comment so far

  1. everydaynotions on

    Amen, Jeannine! Forgive as we’ve been forgiven.

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