Draw The Line…

Disappointment drains you. It tires you out and gets you down precisely because it tires you out. You expend more energy that you can afford coming to terms with the disappointment but you can’t seem to let the matter rest. If you truly thought you should let the matter go you might be freer but in many cases you think it’s something you can fix—or at least, somebody working with you instead of against you can help you fix it. And what seems to drain you most is disappointment with people you expect more from.

It’s true that some of our expectations are over the top, sufficiently over the top that they border on being unfair. I think I recognise that—indeed, have to wrestle with it; but it isn’t always the case that the expectations are set too high. If we really believed that that was the case we could handle it better—so we judge. But it’s often the case that what we expect is little more than some common courtesy, some indication of at least basic gratitude or to be cut some slack by people for whom you’ve made allowances for time without number. But, no, they act like solitary virgins in a world of prostitutes. And that’s when you’re in the wrong and it would appear that you’re always in the wrong about everything. Listen, nobody’s that good or bad that they’re always in the right or in the wrong about everything.

I suppose what’s most disappointing and tiring–because it’s the most disappointing experience you have–is what you experience with those closest to you and it’s crippling when they don’t want the matter fixed. What makes it especially painful is that they know it guts you because it continues to be an open wound. They seem to get a special delight in keeping you at arm’s length and it’s your hunger for their warmth that makes the pain exquisite. “As far as it depends on you live at peace with everyone,” a wise man said. But he did say, “If it’s possible.” Romans 12:18.

What can’t be cured must be endured. You can’t wish that you didn’t love those that shut you out—not if they are or have been close to you. But, let me repeat, these poor sightless people know full well that it’s your longing for them that’s their most jagged needle to pierce you with. So what are you to do?

My guess is that you should be glad it’s not you that’s behaving this way, shutting the door in a childish, cherished and wicked sulk! And I’d suppose you should be pleased that it’s still in your heart to want reconciliation. Wanting it to be right again is the price you pay for genuinely loving someone. If you never loved them then you wouldn’t miss them, wouldn’t care that they shut you out.

But maybe if you can draw on all the other fine relationships you experience in life, if you can drink from all the other joys that are there for you to experience, it will enable you to bear the burden of this sad situation without folding. And without dismissing them, if you can let them know that life goes on for you, that you will rejoice in life without them if you must; if you can make it clear that they can’t hurt you so as to reduce your life to gloom and misery you’ll take away the weapon that serves them best. Everyone’s important, some are more important to us than others, but no one’s so important that they should be allowed to reduce life with God to cold ashes. No one is so important that they should be allowed to reduce all our other friends or family members to nothing! So miss them–as you should–but don’t allow them to make the love of others count for nothing in your life.

I suppose you must make it clear that they would make your life richer and warmer if they’d let you back in or if they came back in. But while that’s true, you must make it clear you refuse to wither so they can find sheer pleasure in their spite and blindness. They must learn that only God is that important! Draw a line.