When she left I swore I’d never make a friend again. It was too painful, too degrading her leaving. I questioned every part of myself, everything I’d ever said and done. It was such a shock. I thought I could trust her. I did. I let my guard down, left my heart on my sleeve and let her see all of me. That was my mistake, unveiling the truth of who I am, how I am. I’d not make that mistake again.
Truth be told, I know now I was too much for her, the sharing too great. My disabilities and flaws, needs and expectations were far too much for a woman fighting her own battles. She wanted a friend, not the role of savior. Fixer. Redeemer. I get that now. But now is too late and the wound of her leaving runs too deep. Seeping. Raw. I won’t make that mistake again.
Friends are too great a risk. Now I keep people at a distance, far beyond my personal space. I’m cautious, leery. I’m downright afraid I’ll say too much, open too wide, let a glimpse sneak past. So I speak little, merely surface platitudes that keep me safe. Really, I wall myself up at home, within my own skin. It’s the only place I’m safe, the risk the least. I’ll not make the same mistake again.
I remember the despised holy man who loved the worst of us anyway, a matter of course. Naturally. Innately. I remember the ridiculed son of God who spoke the truth openly, freely, without reserve or regret. I remember Glory’s flesh fully aware of his certain risk: beaten death. I think of his blood-soaked sweat and ragged tears begging for release. Yet, in the end, he went anyway. Willingly. We were always the risk worth taking.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)