Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Love and Confrontation

Fair warning: this post is really raw right now. But as writers, sometimes we process best on paper. And that's okay. I am doing what I would like you to do. Giving myself permission to be real. To let your heart process that bit of life that isn't a cupcake right now. The bit of life that hurts. That disappoints. That frustrates. That you can't quite wrap your mind around, because it just isn't normal.

Go on. Shake your head. Ask God "What ... the ... heck?" Figure out how to process it with Him.

How do you feel about confrontation? It seems some people love it while others will avoid people just so they don't have to face confrontation. I don't necessarily love confrontation, but I do believe there are instances when it is necessary in life. Instances like when someone you love needs a little glimpse into reality. Like when someone you love is obviously in sin, even when they think no one else can see it. Like when a child is heading down the wrong path and needs to be set straight. Like when someone has decided they're just going to lay down and die. Quit on life and everyone who loves them. (This can be physically or mentally or spiritually.)

Because sometimes love is tough.

People who don't handle correction well will say you're being mean. People who disagree will yell back. People who hate correction will mock. People who don't want to be bothered will stop picking up the phone or walk away.

And how do we handle that? What's the process, Lord?

Do we push on? Do we back off? Do we wipe our hands and walk away, searching for another man of peace? Somehow it just seems wrong to leave someone we love floundering in their foolishness. It feels like murder in my heart to just walk away and let them die.

Knowing we cannot force someone to do what's best for them isn't easy. Not for a parent. Not for a spouse. Not for a child. Not for a sibling. Not for a friend. There's no comfort to be found in "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."

Maybe it's a savior complex rising up in me again. That complex I'd thought had been revealed and removed the moment I met the only One who could really ever save anyone. The One who died on a cross for my sins and the sins of the world, should the world allow Him into their hearts.

Don't you see how it hurts your children? Maybe you don't intend it. Maybe you don't want others to worry about you. But that doesn't change anything. Because if you really didn't intend it, and you really don't want us to worry, you'd do everything in your power to get answers to questions and concerns we've all had for well over two years now. Instead, you lay down. Instead, you give up. You isolate and leave us in the cold, wondering day after day if today is the day we lose you forever.

When, Lord? When is a person sick enough to be considered a risk to themselves? Just because they aren't holding a pistol to their head doesn't mean they aren't a risk to themselves. Why is it that when someone refuses medical attention it's okay for them to remain ill enough they really need to be in a doctor's office or the hospital? Yet, if someone puts a gun in their hand or a needle in their arm, it's a risk? What a sick notion. It really sucks when the medical and legal system won't listen to the family members crying out around someone who really needs assistance but refuses it. Sure, it's their life. But it's our lives too. Disrupted. Out of joint. Filled with concern and wondering...

So do we tiptoe? Or do we confront? Do we love a person enough to be tough with them when their situation could be perceived as "delicate?" Maybe now's not the time...

Then when is it? Because we're all running out of time. Every second of every day that passes, we are running out of time.

Personally, I would confront. I would voice my heart. My big, I-Love-You-Too-Much heart. The heart that swells with concern and anger and frustration and ... love for someone who means something to me. I would tell them that their decisions affect those around them. That I'm not okay and am most definitely worried. I would tell them it's time to stop joking; it isn't funny anymore. It's time to grow up and set aside your childish, selfish ways. It's time to do what needs to be done. It's time to let someone help you. It's time to let go of your pride or your laziness or your foolishness or your ... {sin} that keeps you lying down and dying.

If I don't tell them, who will? Most likely, there are only a few of us on this planet that love these parents/spouses/children/siblings/friends as much as we do. Who else will say what needs to be said? Do what needs to be done?

What about you? Is there someone in your life who you would love to confront about their lack of concern for how their decision affect the ones who love them? Let me know if you can relate...

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