Wrong Turns, Right Track
My beloved husband, Rich, and I know one another well. We share our lives, our home, our hearts. We worship together, eat most of our meals together, and stroke the same dogs’ heads as we relax in evenings. We climb into the same bed at night. Those details, along with our status as legally married people, qualify us as intimate. As in, we know one another intimately.
So how can it be that we sometimes miscommunicate so completely? Take the clicker episode, for example. Rich was headed to the store. “Please buy a replacement battery for my remote while you’re there,” I asked, nodding towards the corner of my desk where my car keys and garage door remote rested together. “It’s getting harder and harder to open the door.”
“Okay,” he said.
The next morning, as I prepared to leave for work, I asked, “Where’s the new battery?”
“I installed it already,” he said, smiling.
“But I’ve had my keys in my purse since right after you left!”
“I took care of it right after I bought it, while I was still in the Home Depot parking lot,” he said.
We both realized at about the same moment that we’d completely miscommunicated the day before. I wanted a fresh battery for the door-unlocking remote for my truck. Rich replaced the battery in my garage door remote control.
And neither of us doubted for a moment that we’d understood the other completely.
That’s the scary part, isn’t it? We’re buzzing along, putting one foot in front of the other, loving and caring for one another as best as we know how, and then–Boom!–one day you discover you’ve totally missed one another’s meaning.
How do we account for that? One way is to shake our heads and decide that we’re hopeless. If we can’t even specify and purchase a little thing like a replacement battery without confusion, what happens when we’re talking about big stuff? Do we ever understand one another at all? Or are we merely deluding ourselves?
This path, my friends, leads you right down the pathway of self-doubt to the doorway of second-guessing your entire life.
I suggest you keep walking and don’t open that door. Trust me.
Another way, a way I like better, is to give love. Followed by love. And more love. We’re flawed and sometimes we’ll try hard and still not get it right. Other times we won’t try so hard, because we don’t realize how challenging the task can be–and still not get it right.
Nobody gets it right all the time. That’s why love is such a wonderful gift to offer. It’s from God, you know.
All the best stuff is.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)