I remember one particularly difficult time in my life when I first had to put my faith to test. My brother was experiencing a painful trial and the rest of the family were suffering along with him. My mom pointed out to me one day that if we really believe what we say we do, these difficult times shouldn’t be so difficult.
I am now attempting something difficult in different ways. But based on my belief, it shouldn’t be difficult. The belief? The best way I can describe it is a primary song.
“Jesus said love everyone. Treat them kindly too. When your heart is filled with love, others will love you.”
Everyone? I’ve had my moments in life where I’ve had to search the depths of my charity barrel for love for an individual. In 8th grade a boy named Woody teased me relentlessly. It was more than just teasing, it was harrassment. Measures were taken by the school to keep us far apart. The nobility of it made forgiveness come somewhat easily. He was no longer tormenting me, and I had been taught to “bless them that curse you”.
But now, as I contemplate other situations in my life where I encountered people who are difficult to love, I realize that in general I’ve just avoided those people. The difference in the circumstance at present, is that I believe this person needs my love and friendship. I have felt strongly, in fact, that I should make my best effort to have a good relationship with her.
So what is making such a bond so hard? For starters, the reasons I have to believe she wants my friendship are based on subtleties. Her clear and unambiguous communication is usually harsh and sometimes rude. Further, she is actively involved in the life of someone I care about, and her influence (from where I stand) is generally for the worse.
I can’t really say that my efforts at present are sincere. But I have adopted that age-old adage “Fake it ‘til ya make it”.
I welcome any advice. For now, the following quote keeps me going.
“When frustration and impatience challenge charity, hope braces our resolve and urges us to care for our fellowmen even without expectation of reward.” – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf