The inexpressible comfort of feeling
safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words—but pouring them
All right out—just as they are—
Chaff and grain together—
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them—
Keep what is worth keeping—
and with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.”
The key here is ‘kindness’. We could say also ‘compassion’. It is easy to dispute another’s words and motives, forgetting they’re under the same pressures we experience, even perhaps under more pressure than we are.
Another useful word might be ‘discernment’. Someone does something you don’t understand. Think about how they operate as a person. That might give a clue. A book about “languages of love” identifies five different ways to show care – words, gifts, service, touch and quality time. Maybe someone who shows care by speaking it, doesn’t understand when another performs an act of service. Yet, they loving without uttering a word! From these five ways, you can see how people ‘love past each other’. They might often show care in a way others do not understand or ‘receive’. Yet, they would think others should have understood what they were meaning by their actions! Something to ponder.
This weekend there are several interesting things happening in the Gathering for Refugee Sunday, including a fascinating photo-story from Mark Beehre about his mother’s experiences after being a Latvian refugee in WWII. Also, ideas from Christian World Service on supporting refugees in different parts of the world. Come and see and hear. After, the Social Justice Education group features Prof Peter Barrett, “Saving Antarctica”. See you then,
P.s. The saying above is widely attributed to George Eliot, but actually written by Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik (1826-1887). The quote is from Craik’s novel, A Life for a Life, published in 1859, but also appeared—nearly 80 years later—in a collection of poems under the title, “Friendship”. (Thanks to various sources for this information).
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