“I Want to See.”
By Blind Beggar Bart

Mature Love

Dear Bart,
There was a time when a loved one whom I have helped so many times did something to hurt me so much that I vowed never help or talk to her unless she makes the first step to admit and say sorry. I said to myself “This time she needs to learn her lesson.” As days went by I grew restless knowing she needed help and no one could give her guidance like I used to. My worries led me to confide in a friend who simply said “The one who is more mature will make the first step.” My initial reaction was to defend my position in favor of tough love and of myself, who had the right to demand an apology. But my friend’s statement led me to ponder and later realize that what is more important at the moment is that someone needed help… and my first step. – “Wronged,” 2/5/2014.

Dear “Wronged,”
Your story reminds me of a gospel passage describing a norm of early Christian communities, and a good practice to follow even today: “If your brother should commit some wrong against you, go and point out his fault, but keep it between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over…” (Mt 18:15).

Who makes the first step does not depend on who wronged who, but on who was given the gift of wisdom to know the right thing to do in the situation. In marriage, family, friendship, etc. where the relationship is highly valued by all parties, it would be unfortunate if no one would make the first step to reconcile and heal the relationship because of each one’s prideful reasons. There are situations that the right thing to do maybe is to “let go and let God,” but for sure God puts us in front of situations and people to be His instrument. In family relationships for instance, we may be called to be a guide to our siblings or a help to our parents in their old age. In marriage, God calls on spouses to stay committed to the vows they made to each other and to Him. In these situations the one who has mature love – yes, even if you were the one who was wronged – initiates the reconciliation and helps the other’s love to mature as well.

Helping the other’s love to mature (grow) could be a daunting task especially if the other misunderstands or refuses to listen. But your friend's statement uses the word "will" rather than "should" implying that God's gift of wisdom comes with a grace that compels one to take up the "cross" but drawing patience and strength from God and from knowing that He wills it. It is a sign of one’s maturing love towards the other and deepening trust in God whose Love can turn any "heart of stone into a heart of flesh" (Jer 36:26).

If you would like to email me and hopefully find my response in this column, please send it to admin@cafepearsall.com (for now) addressed to me, or go to Contact Us of this website. Link to the previous article is found below. –BBB, 2/5/2014.

Previous articles:
Let It Be Done According to Your Word: The Vanity of the Plans We Make (12/9/2013)