The Fable of the Porcupine goes something like this…
It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together. This way, they covered and protected themselves… but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other.
After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.
Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. This way they learned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important part of it, was the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.
What a great example of the complexity of relationships! You see, these porcupines needed their neighbors touch to survive, but at times that interaction caused pain. Still… they chose to stick together rather than go it alone.
That was a smart move.
It’s the same for us. We need each other to survive, too, but at the same time we get wounded from their quills. As long as we live and breathe on Planet Earth, people will hurt us. It’s inevitable.
But here is the kicker…
Knowing our ability to wound and our ability to sustain each other, God created us to be in community. He designed us to need each other. We cannot thrive alone.
In God’s perfect plan for our lives, He gave us family and friends…
- to help us grow…
- to make us laugh…
- to share our dreams…
- to support our causes…
- to nourish our souls…
- to love us, both the good and bad.
And we have to learn to do the same. The challenge is… how do we do that when their quills dig in to us?
I’ve learned that quill wounds heal the best (and the fastest) when taken directly to the Father. He has the heavenly tweezers and the skilled hands to pluck ’em right out. He has the soothing salve needed to bathe our wounds, restoring us to pre-battle condition.
But most importantly… when we learn to love like He loves… our perspectives will change and grace will prevail. We’ll be able to love and accept people without expecting perfection.
- Instead of gossiping about someone who has hurt you… you forgive them because you know we all make mistakes.
- Rather than getting upset when someone snaps at you… you let it go knowing they are under a lot of stress.
- Instead of unleashing when someone takes their anger out on you… you choose to listen to their hurting heart.
- Rather than making a harsh judgment call about how someone is handling a situation… you pray for God to give them wisdom.
News flash… no one is perfect. 🙂 We all have our challenges and our strengths.
Look, I’m a very passionate person and sometimes that can be overwhelming and intimidating. But… that translates into me being a fiercely loyal friend who will go into battle with you in a moment’s notice.
If you love me… you love both.
Listen… the most wonderful thing we can do for another is to love the whole person – the good, the bad and the ugly…. quills and all.
Will you choose to love like that?