i will disappoint you

at some point, it will happen.  it's inevitable. diving right into the point: i don't want to be perfect. could you imagine the pressure of being perfect?  having to meet everyone's needs and expectations all the time?  it would be impossible.  I can never truly be all things to all people.  And if I was some kind of perfect, then there's a chance that people might want to be in relationship with me because of my perfection, not because of who I am. so, to be frank, I will disappoint you.  and in that moment, our relationship gets to take an interesting twist: will you give me grace or not?  will you choose to still love me in my imperfection? Ashley and I lead a small group together.  We do our best to teach the things we think are important and applicable to our lives and the lives of the members of our little community.  Somewhere down the line, I'm going to disappoint them.  I'm not going to give the right advice or I'm going to have a lame week.  In some ways, I'm excited for that day.  I'm excited for the time when the community will be able to minister in love and grace to Ashley and I even in our failure. I have friends who are so much more loyal to me than I deserve.  I should call them, I should write them, I should carve out a spot of time for them, just for them.  But I don't always get to meet their needs (or even their wants).  I disappoint them.  And, in the hubbub and business of daily life, human desire for rest, and investment into entertainment I will disappoint them again - and maybe disappoint you. My wife and I have an incredible relationship.  But, there are times - and there will be times - when I will disappoint her.  I won't smile wide enough when she looks beautiful, I won't hear the true meaning of some deep statement, I won't say "I love you" in the right way.  Or worse, I'll due something truly harmful to us and her. But, even in that disappointment, we will relish in the oppertunity for grace.  If I was perfect, if she never had the blessing of an oppertunity to unconditionally give me grace, it would be unfair to her.  I hope it's only in little ways, but there needs to be times when I disappoint her so she can love me irregardless. Disappointment is so very, very key in the life of a follower of the Way.  What happens when someone disappoints you? Do you gossip about them?  Do you tear them apart in your head?  Do you decide that this disappointing moment is the defining moment of their character, even against years of knowledge otherwise?  Can this disappointment be sustained and become the new lens you view your once treasured relationship through? Or do we forgive this sin against our expectations for someone else?  Maybe we see a new side to someone we thought we knew so well, and are justified in our righteous judgment.  Would it not be so much more valuable to give grace to them?  Don't they need that more than they need a broken friendship? Oh, how I will disappoint you.  It will happen when I don't want it to, I'm sure.  You'll need me and my friendship and my love and mentorship and grace more than ever before... but I won't be there.  Or I'll say the wrong thing.  Or, for some reason - maybe I just didn't realize how important this one thing was? - maybe I just won't even care.  And I'll forget this post, I'll forget about love and grace, and then I'll disappoint you. Will you give me grace? Or will you disappoint me, tit for tat?  Will you hold it against me, that I'm not perfect.  Will my one wrong comment wrong our relationship forever more?  Will my uncensored emotional outburst break down what we've built over coffees and dinners and prayers?  Will my passive agression lead to a weak thought that cannot be forgiven? I know I'll disappoint you.  And I know you've been disappointed.  And you know who you will disappoint. Can we move past that, and see it not as some selfish wound, but a chance to love and give grace?  A chance to let the disappointment be tossed aside for a chance to share in a moment of growth?  A chance to practice loving unconditionally, just as He loves us? And if you don't, if you can't, or if you disappoint... that's ok.  I'll do my best to love you irregardless. And may you forgive me if I still disappoint you.
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