Sticks and Stones

I looked at my back yard, once buying the property and knew I needed a fire pit. We had many memories around the fire and so many left in ashes. I knew it would take me some time to complete it and I knew it would be somewhat of a emotional milestone for me. Embracing the moment, I dug in. I shifted the dirt around, dug a hole, and moved the stones. I could feel the different sizes of clay, rock, or clumps moving from mound to mound, forming something that was once unusable to now something of use.

It was emotional. It was hard work too. I was hot and sweaty. As I dug the memories of fire side chats came up, like flames from warm over-night embers. The calm state of peace that comes over me while doing yard work settled within me and the flames of my past grew even warmer. Finally, I admitted I missed you.

We weren't that far off. Not many people understood you, but I did to a degree. I didn't always agree with you and you were somewhat okay with those differences. Not many liked you, but I gave you a chance. Even after all of this I can still say, I'm glad I did. You reminded me of someone. Someone who, did not give me a chance. I can't say I whole heartily gave them one either being so much history between us. And now they are gone...as well.

So giving into trust, I gave you a chance. Went out on a limb for someone who was trying. I give you credit for at least trying. I understand your wanting for friendships and welcoming everyone into the fold. Always inviting and gathering friends together. For a time, I felt there was something sweet about it. Yet, in the back of my mind I wondered if you too would turn on me. I thought those feelings were trust issues. Even still I set boundaries, so that I would protect not only myself and family, but the relationship I thought ours "could" be...I thought down the road, it could be something deeper. First crops are never the hardiest; mature plants are nurtured.

And now I understand, it was not I who let her guard down or allowed you pass the boundary.

It was you, who never set any.

I understand you were doing the best you knew how to do at the time. I understand the confusion you must have felt. I understand that your nature or normal way of dealing with others was not what was needed at the time, but the only tools you had to work with. I understand and know your heartache, a friend was lost to another realm and another lost by choice mere miles away. I still pray for your heart, as silly as that sounds, but really, I do.

Dear One, wash over me in kindness and make my words clear. I lift up those who have hurt me and I pray I understand their choices and their fear. I pray that they will one day understand my decision to end the friendship. That one day they will quietly admit their wrong doings. Reveal to them the things you have opened my eyes to see, and show them where I too went wrong. Place on their hearts the tears I shed for them, for the events of the night, and the guilt I place on myself for not doing more to stop them. Press into them the deep tissues of tears from my heart and that they are not only for my beloved. Share with them the image that I so clearly saw and that my words or thought process are not rooted in bitterness, but one of truth. I beg of You, with heavy heart, share with them the pain I feel for the choices they have made that will haunt them. Guide me grace and send it to them; That they feel the hug of forgiveness I will never be able to physically give to them. Rest in them the understanding that my heart is not one of self-righteousness, but one that deeply, deeply longs for everyone to simply be nice to one another. Ultimately loving one another. Show them I've always wanted to just do the right thing, not just because I was told to do it, but because nothing else feels as good as a heart full of pure intentions. Ultimate love. I lift these intentions up to you, Lord, in Your Holy name of Love. Amen.

I finished the pit. I buried my anger within the rocks and the dirt. I prayed with every clump of dirt that the fires of our future would refine the jagged edges of my heart. With every flame melting away the scars of bitterness; refiners fire and mold the scars around the new heart of forgiveness. I saw a vision of new fires, with bright faces laughing and singing, and tending to the flames with as much care as I. Even though a fire was not built that night, I welcomed my guest with a heart of trust even with boundaries up. My son's smile was the first to see the flames and it was a start.