Salty and Caustic- That’s Me!

I was once told I was salty and caustic.  I think the person meant it as a joking compliment.  It’s become a joke with a friend of mine who repeats it back to me often, as an explanation for why someone is rude to me or ignores me.

You know, it’s because I’m salty and caustic.

The reality is that I am fluent in sarcasm, am not a touchy feely person, laugh in uncomfortable situations, and will share what I think 100x before I share what I feel.  But on the other hand, I will go anywhere and do anything within my power for a friend, and show I care more than I say it.  The person who called me salty and caustic really did know that.

I take being laughed at well, and will laugh along with you.  I understand when you can’t do something that I really want or need help with.  I respect differing views on politics and religion.  I believe that if we always agreed, we’d not be being honest, and I like to talk with people who think differently than me.  I cut people slack for bad behavior for any number of reasons.  I see things or hear things that could offend me, but don’t take them that way.

However….

Intent is everything to me.

Is what you’re saying intended to hurt me, mock me, or make me seem incompetent, that changes it all.  If what you’re preaching, singing, shouting or laughing about is meant to push an agenda of fear, exploitation or intolerance, that changes it all.

But what I’ve learned, is that most of the people, most of the time, have no intention of doing either of those things.  Most of the time, people have good hearts.  Most of the time, people would rather be in physical pain, than know they’ve put you through emotional pain.

Sometimes, even when understanding people’s intent is not personal, it feels that way.  Sometimes, people cross over lines that make it personal and painful.  Lately, this seems to happen a lot for me.  It’s hard to put those feelings aside, and carry on with the same respect for them.

Maybe you have those days.  When things feel too close, too personal.  Maybe you need this reminder too.  Try, along with me, to not get so offended that you can’t see past your own beliefs and thoughts, to see what intent really is, and to not then cause truly offensive situations.  Consider their heart, consider their intentions, and forgive.  Even when they never ask for it.

It’s hard.  It’s worth it.

“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”  – Augusten Burroughs

Laughter, Grace and Monkeys

A few days ago Drew was headed to bed and we heard a bang and him cry out. Michael and I ran into his room and in the darkness it took a few seconds to realize he was laying in the floor just in front of the door. He’d stepped on an air pump, causing it to flip up and hit him in the shin. He then fell, and hit his eye on his bookshelf. And then apparently when we rushed in, Michael hit the door into his head. We laughed. A lot.

We tied for the bad parent of the year award. We had to go back in and apologize once we realized how hurt he was. And then we laughed again once we walked out.

And that is probably just one of a thousand things I did wrong this week alone. Some realities about me:

– I laugh at inappropriate times
– I hold a grudge
– I get my feelings hurt when I know I shouldn’t
– I obsess
– I spend too much time on things that don’t matter and not enough on the relationships that do
– I avoid what I don’t want to deal with
– and the list could go on…

That’s what makes the fact of God’s grace so amazing. I have all this junk, I am not nearly good enough, and yet… he accepts me and loves me.

Max Lucado says it so simply and clearly.
“Our Saviour kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, ‘I can clean that if you want.’ And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes our sin.”

Too often, I’m like this monkey- looking at everything a bit upside down. I get focused on what wrongs have been done to me, who has hurt me.

And I’m reminded that grace has covered me, and I need to extend some of the same. Thank goodness for grace, because I’m telling you- I could never get there on my own.