Thursday, October 16, 2014

Faithful Wounds

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy” - Prov. 27:6 “A good friend is someone who is willing to stab you in the front.” Yikes! That sounds painful. But a true brother or sister is willing to speak the truth to us and loves us enough to tell us what we don’t want to hear. Those kinds of friends are rare. One of those friends to me is Donny Mason. We met at a Young Life camp back in high school. We roomed together in college, were in each other’s weddings and our two oldest kids, Elizabeth and Mark, ended up marrying each other! Crazy! Donny and I have been through so many seasons together- up’s and down’s-and trust each other enough to be truthful and honest. I am simply a better person because of Donny and I love him dearly. This past weekend we drove to Amarillo to spend time with Donny and his wonderful wife Lisa. They are going through some trials in this season of their lives and there’s nothing like being with grandkids to bring encouragement. So, we loaded up Elizabeth, and the grandkids, Reese and Lucy, and made the haul to West Texas. Mark, wasn’t able to pull away from work. Of course, the drive to and from Branson included watching everyone’s favorite movie, Frozen. We have watched the DVD ten thousand times I think, but I always enjoy it. Reese and Lucy simply cannot get enough of Anna and Olaf. I can’t either. Olaf is my favorite character. He is the simplistic, almost neurotic optimist snowman that loves a season he’s never experienced, summer. As he sings his song “Summer,” he’s dwelling on how wonderful this season is that would most certainly end his existence. He doesn’t understand the implications. He doesn’t understand because no one has ever explained it to him. People don’t want to hurt him. People don’t want to embarrass him. After all, he’s so excited about it. When Christof attempts to explain it to Olaf, Anna exclaims, “Don’t you dare!” In the car, I said to the DVD player, “Tell him.” He needed to hear the truth. He deserved the truth. We all need to hear the truth. We all are blind to so many things in our lives. We need friends who are willing to tell us what we don’t want to hear. We need true friends who are willing to wound our spirits to reveal the truth about situations that harm us. After all, wounds heal. We are all blind people. None of us see it all correctly. We think we do, but we don’t. God created us to need each other. God usually chooses to extend His own hand of love through brothers and sisters in our lives, if we’ll let Him. Be a true friend to others and “speak the truth” in love. Allow others to speak the truth to you as well. You probably won’t like it- who likes to be wounded? But we are set free by the truth. Jeanie and I have this “deal” with Elizabeth that any time she sees something in our house that looks outdated are old (yes, we’re getting old!) she’s to be honest and tell us. We don’t want a house with “weird” items still sitting on the counter that have been there forever. Why couldn’t we just do the same? Because we live there. We’re desensitized to so many things. That’s true in our lives as well. We leave on the ugly wallpaper of our lives. We just don’t notice it anymore. We need a voice to say, “Uh, it’s time to remove that old wallpaper and paint the living room!” This morning I was hurrying out the door for a run and Jeanie stopped me, “Don’t you have an 8:00 appointment?” “Yes,” I said. “You may not have time for a run,” she said. She was right. Normally, I would have been a bit defensive. But I looked at the clock and chilled. I spent time with the Lord and had a good breakfast and relaxed, I made it to the office in plenty of time. I needed to hear her wisdom. I get going so fast sometimes, that I’m my own worst friend giving poor advice. We all need to heed the advice of those special people God has surrounded us with to keep us going. I am so thankful for Donny and the life-long friendship I have with him. Our friendship is solid because we are honest and real. Let the Olaf’s in your life know the truth. Be honest. Share your heart in love. Be willing to let others share with you as well. It might just help produce a solid life… …instead of one that’s melting away. By Eric Joseph Staples ©