Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Forest for the Trees

Two things I have read recently have set the little gray cells humming. The first was a post at Life at Willow Manor about when and when not to apologize, to say you’re sorry. I hesitate to copy and paste because I don’t want to violate her copyright, so please take a minute to go there and read what she has to say. Please.
I take seriously the Biblical admonition to “Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody (Rom 12: 18. TEV).”  There is a tendency when trying to put this idea into practice of misunderstanding what it means and then walking on eggshells for fear one is going to offend someone and make them mad. If one is constantly tempted to try to make everyone around them happy, which of course is impossible, then one starts feeling the need to apologize for having an opinion, or having faith, or....

The second: is from The Kitchen Congregation by Nora Seton

...whatever you know of a person within the trunk and tendrils of a friendship, it is only two percent of what there is to know, and that you live together on the surface of the ground, only vaguely aware of the vast structures underneath...
I was thinking about this especially this week when my friend came up and put her arm around me and said, “I need a hug....”

I don’t think we have much of an idea of how entangled are the roots of trees that stand near each other because this is a connection that is not immediately noticeable from what one observes above ground. Yet as conversations occur between friends and family over days and months and years, suddenly something will be said that causes one of those “aha” moments.

The only way I can only know what is going on in her life “below ground” is if she tells me. And there is such a thrill—a bonding feeling—to find we have shared experiences. And it is better I think for these to poke up out of the ground slowly, it makes each new conversation an opportunity for discovery, even if it is about something rather mundane.


Cloudia said...

Wise words!

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

willow said...

Fun to know my little post encouraged some thought! Thanks for the mention.