the whole picture

     Recently, a friend did and said some things that hurt me and made me angry. I lived with the hurt and anger for a few weeks. Pretty soon, what he had done wrong started to look like the whole picture, but it wasn’t. Here’s how I found that out.

     One morning over coffee, I decided to take a short break from looking at what he had done wrong and instead spend a few minutes looking at what he had done right. I wasn’t trying to end-run the hurt or downplay it or to bury it under you-should-be-grateful. I was just agreeing to spend a few minutes saying “yes-and” – “yes, I have good reason to be hurt and angry, and he also has given me gifts.”

     I asked for help in remembering the gifts, and I started jotting them down – the people I have met through him and the trips I have taken because of him and the encouraging words and the visits and the wise counsel and the comfort when I was scared and lonely. The list went on and on. I’m still adding to it.

     Before I started the list, I could only see what he had done wrong. Now I can also see what he has done right. I can see the whole picture clearly.

“Then [her] eyes were opened, [her] sight was restored, and [she] could see everything clearly.” Mark 8:25