Day 22 – “Dirty Confessions with Pure Intentions”
22 Elul 5769
~Dirty Confessions with Pure Intentions~
Many summers ago, my sister and I were enjoying a vacation with our grandparents deep in the heart of Texas. Although, we had to heat our water and the modern conveniences of suburbia were far from us, we enjoyed the carefree country life. Walking along the dirt roads to visit distant neighbors, talking to the horses and catching fireflies, filled our day.
One day we went to visit some kinfolk down the road from Madear, Grandma’s mother. On the way back, I asked Granny if I could drive. It was just a short distance straight up the road and I figured I wouldn’t hurt anything. My six year old sister, Elonda chimed in from the back seat. “Grandma, Karen can drive. Let Karen drive.” Madear did not say a word as Grandma contemplated whether or not she would give her eleven year old granddaughter control of the wheel. With me begging in the front seat and Elonda, cheering me on from the backseat, Granny stopped the car and we exchanged places.
It was exciting. I held onto the steering wheel with steady hands and tried to mimic everything I had seen the grownups do. I eased off of the brake and gently pressed on the gas. The four door carriage obeyed my command and escorted the four of us home without incident until… I hit a dip in the road. I pressed my foot on the gas pedal, but the wheels just spinned – making the ditch deeper.
Grandma tried to coach me out of the ditch from the passenger seat, but by this time emotional opposition had arisen from the rear. My most vocal supporter had retracted her vote of confidence. Her enthusiastic support in the beginning was no match for the tear stained pleas she was now making. “Grandma, Karen can’t drive. Make her stop, Grandma. She can’t drive.” Finally, even Madear, asked Grandma to take the control once again.
The memory still causes me to laugh as I reflect on my sister’s purest intention of endorsement morphing into a confession of opposition as the dirt flew out from under the car. And in truth, the story from her point of view, is even more hysterical (i.e her life flashing before her eyes, etc.). There is much more drama, indeed!
The experience, however reminds me of conversations / relationships that go awry. In the beginning, we are cheerful and optimistic. As we encounter rough roads, the conversations become more difficult. Like driving on gravel, the offenses layer our interactions and the ride becomes more precarious. Invariably as life happens, we end up in a ditch and dirty confessions are released as fear and anger infuses the atmosphere. “You never…” “You always…” “You should have known… “
Misunderstandings, hurts, and disappointments tinged with bitter root fill the air, where once the purest of intentions fragrantly bloomed. This season calls for us to: stop spinning the dirty confessions of our fears, “get out of the ditch” and take responsibility for our own responses to the experiences of life.
Take the time to get back to your purest of intentions no matter how muddy the waters are or how eroded the roads have become. If we focus on our purest of intentions for an individual(s) or for a situation, those intentions that serve the purpose of G-d, we will find ourselves co-partnering with our Creator to restore and/or uncover the original beauty and potential of those lives, we touch.
James 3:17-18 (The Message Bible) | Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.