Friendships and Forgiveness

As a follower of Christ, I try and include Him in all of my decision making. When I don’t know what to do or where to turn, I finally get the courage to look up and surrender myself and ask, “Lord, I need your help. What am I supposed to do?!” (Usually these requests are in a more fervent manner than not, something I’m not quite proud of, but I’m working on it.)

But when somebody has committed a wrong against not only me, but one of my best friends as well, the line between what we are supposed to do and what we want to do can become extremely blurred. And for me, I’m sorry to say that it did and at the moment, still is.

Obviously I’m not going to mention names or even what happened in great detail because that would not be charitable, but here is a glimpse of what has been going on. I have a close guy friend who hurt one of my best friends (who I will also be living with next year). This is not the first time he has hurt her, and after he hurt her the first time, I decided to give him a second chance; not only because I valued our friendship, but because I understand that people are selfish and impulsive and stupid and if God the Almighty Father can forgive the worst that I have done, I can forgive him for the hurtful actions he has committed.

But this time (the second time around), he has done the same thing wrong to my friend and that got me very angry. Uncharacteristically angry, so to speak. While I was trying to evaluate my emotions on the whole situation, I had come to realize that I had never been this angry at someone. I wanted to knock his front teeth out. I would scream in my car and shrilly shout how I really felt, and think up nasty monologues to say to this boy so he could realize how much hurting my best friend had hurt me.

He didn’t see her when she was at her weakest. He didn’t stay up late watching her cry over Skype. He didn’t see her the way that I saw her; and that bothered me. It got under my skin and the only way to get it out was to scream. I saw him hurting my best friend and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I am very protective of my friends, which, in this situation, just added insult to injury.

He later asked me if I hated him and I benightedly said yes. However, I misspoke.

I do not hate my friend. I do not hate him for what he did. I hate what he did. I hate what he did with my whole heart because he hurt my best friend really badly and I know he knows that. But you know what? Everybody makes mistakes, we’re human, and Original Sin catches up to us and that just sucks. But there is something to be said about our mistaken actions and C.S. Lewis said it best, “Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.”

There are plenty of times when I questioned my loyalty to my best friend, even though I know that I am always on her side, even if she is wrong. The first time this happened I felt as if he deserved more than being forever hated because of one stupid mistake. And to an extent I feel almost the same way this time. I really try and treat people as I would like to be treated, and if I did what he did, after everything, I would want a friend.

While his actions merit a high disapproval, I feel like I need to give him another chance, just as a person in general. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very mad at what he did. I will be for a long time. But going back to that awesome quote from C.S. Lewis, as hard as it may be, he is my friend and I have to try to bury the wrongs he have committed against my friends and by extension, me. Keep in mind I say “bury” not “forget.” The funny thing about death is that we bury what is dead but we always remember what it was. That’s why we have headstones and monuments erected in honor of what has died, so we never forget.

I will never forget what happened between him and my best friend. For a very long time the only thing that I will be able to think when I look at him will be, “There’s that awful person, who did that terrible thing to my best friend, and I just can’t believe that it even happened and I’m still really pissed at him.” But as the Saint that we are all trying to one day become, I can only try to make my next thought be, “I really hope he learned his lesson. I hope he never does it again.”

After all, we live in Hope.

I know that when things get back into swing around the end of August, my best friend and I will move in together, and my friendship with this boy will have to slowly wane until then. I want to be his friend, I really do, but I don’t think I can. I’m not saying I will ignore him and be rude and uncalled for, we run in the same circle of friends, I will be seeing him often. What I’m saying is that to become more loyal to my best friend, even if I want to be a good friend to this boy, I need to chose a side and stay there. In the end, it will be her side.

What he needs to realize is that his actions are not only pushing away the people he hurts, but even the people who wouldn’t be likely to be hurt by his actions, namely me (and hopefully not too many others). When he changes what he is doing, I will be waiting with open arms. But until then, all I can do, all any of us can do in a situation like this, is pray.

Pray, not fervently, but with passion and gusto, that the ultimately good Lord will shower His love and grace up on us to make the right decisions in the future, and hopefully not hurt anybody in the process. It might take a little time, but I’m confident the Lord will hear my prayers.

In Christ and Mary,

Kate ❤