Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Wheat and The Chaff

“A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” (George Eliot) In my opinion, nothing is more precious or valuable than the contents of the heart, that elusive stuff that makes up our hopes and fears, dreams and nightmares, strengths and insecurities.  Hearts are both the most delicate and crucial piece of the human anatomy...which explains why many of us go to such great lengths to protect it. Nothing is more painful than handing off that delicate organ only to watch someone we loved and trusted act reckless with our feelings. When its over, we stand broken and ask the hard questions: "Was it just a game?; Why is it easier for other people?; Will I recover?" Believe me, once that happens a couple of times, you slow down, back off, and eye others with fear.

Confession: For most of my life, people weren't too careful with my heart. Not the people who were suppose to protect me. Not the one or two I fell for and had hoped would protect me. (I don't fall too often, as adoration is a risking business, when I do, I go down hard, face first in the dirt) Until quite recently, throwing a quote about friendship, wheat, and chaff at me would have earned you a bitter reply. Some of us were made to be wheat, others chaff, and if you're part of the latter group look out! God burns chafe with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12) Personally, I went up in flames years ago. Yep, my outlook wasn't particularly hopeful and, as you might suspect, it also made for a few awkward moments when one or two Bubble-Headed Idiots decided to explain life and love to me. The reality is that some people end up with more hard knocks than others. I don't know why. Its not fair. Its not right. The fact pisses me off, but there it is. But here's the catch: I stand in danger of allowing my history to become my future because if you're sure the other shoe will eventually drop, you pre-empt that action.  Or in other words, you walk out before someone else walks out on you, thereby, making send what might have been up in flames.  If I have hope of being a  June Carter Cash, of figuring out how to wait, of loving another person despite my being a dry out, burned up piece of chaff, then I have to let go of fear and hold onto hope. Because down deep, under my cynical exterior, I agree with Jane Austen "There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart."

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