Got a comment on Facebook recently from a friend who shared a Sunday school class years ago without really enjoying the book we were using. He is now re-reading the book and finding it life-changing, in a good way. I wrote back that I’m struck by the patience of God to grow us all in our own time.
Recently, those thoughts came back to me as we sat in a familiar living room, listening to a good friend of the last decade justify his decision to leave our church. He is, of course, free to go. We, however, are staying, as yet unmoved by the issues that have stirred him to uproot himself and his family from ground deeply watered with friendship and love. We argued, commented, traded a few barbs and ultimately let go.
This process has been coming some time now. Like lots of loss, it isn’t so much unexpected as sad. What does love look like when it lets go? How do we hold what we can and keep perspective? A recent sermon on humility seems to come in handy. From 1 Peter 5, Dr. Neilson of Covenant College stressed our tendency to suffer gracelessly and encouraged us to take Peter’s view of the “little while” of this life in light of eternity when we won’t have theological division and won’t hold the process of growing in Christ as such an “us/them” proposition.
Things to think on, pray over and leave to the grace of God who thankfully loves us better than we will ever love each other. Blessings.