I am confounded by those who write others off. I don’t think I’ve ever done it in my life. Disagreements, awkwardness, relational struggles, and/or distance? Sure. But to simply write someone off? Weird. To those who have written me off: it won’t be reciprocated. I’m always here.
I have friends who, through the awkwardness that comes with conflict they’ve had with mutual friends or family, will no longer engage in a relationship with me. I have friends who were legitimately hurt by my actions or words and who will not respond to communication or apologies.
I can’t understand it.
Relationships are hard as most good things are.
I’m currently reading “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and this concept reminds me of something he said about human interaction and community:
“Human love has little regard for truth. It makes the truth relative, since nothing, not even the truth, must come between it and the beloved person. Human love desires the other person, his company, his answering love, but it does not serve him.”
He also states his belief that people cannot live in true community and love without coming to each other in love that comes from God.
I think I agree. One fundamental truth about love is that it believes the best about people, it bears all things, and it is patient. Human love – the kind that humans are capable of in and of themselves – is incapable of this kind of patient selflessness.
I fail at loving people the way they should be loved as friends or family all the time. But one thing I have never struggled with is the confounding, downright cruel act of writing people off. I’ve experienced friends I love break all ties with me because of a disagreement, a lack of proximity, their awkwardness when we experienced great loss, and over doctrinal or worldview differences.
I’m not sure anyone who is pursuing Christ can write off anyone. There are those who mean to do us harm or those who are foolish and should be avoided. But even these deserve open arms and unconditional love should they come seeking it in humility. The cruel sickness that is the abrupt ending of a friendship stings more than it should. And it stings forever.