Name the hurt

         If a brother or sister sins against you,
         go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone.

                  —Matthew 18.15

         
Well, don't go for “sin” or “fault:”
it's too easy, and useless, to judge.
But pay attention to “hurt.”
Defy that voice of false politeness
and the repression of the truth.
If someone hurts you,
go toward them, not away,
and name the hurt.
Neither hide nor retaliate, even politely:
simply, gently tell the truth.
Claim your part of it,
even if just to receive it,
and to give them access to their part of it.
Not to nail them, not to relieve yourself,
but because you love them.

Be prepared to listen—
to their journey, and to your own.
Think of it as opening a door
to a place neither of you have gone before,
and can't without the other.
Think of it as opening the door
to that Jesus place.

Imagine how refreshing the air would be
in a community of open, caring honesty,
without that hidden bucket of hurts
fermenting under the kitchen sink.

In the dark places where our hurts lie
is the tomb from which Christ rises, alive,
the very Christ who,
wherever two or three are gathered in his love,
is among us.

                        

   —September 6, 2017