After watching Bugs Bunny slap an innocent bystander's face twice and explain to Daffy, "He had such a slappable face," Harper tells me about a boy who got hurt in PE. He developed a large swollen bruise above his eye and she was very concerned about it. And also fascinated. "I wanted to touch it. Like the cartoon guy had a slappable face? My friend had a very touchable booboo." I laughed until I cried at how she phrased it. But I knew exactly what she meant. I'm a nurse, after all. I always knew why Jesus had to touch the lepers when he healed them.
Recently one of my friends was distressed that she was only now seeing a fault in a person she has known a long time. She's so good about seeing the good in people, but was feeling for the first time as if perhaps she has been naive. She wondered aloud if she should start being more suspicious of the goodness she sees in others.
I hope she does not. It's a difficult place to be, a hurting place, but a beautiful balancing act- seeing people in all their flawed wholeness. The good my friend sees in others is accurate. It is there. It's just that there is more than goodness. There are weaknesses in people as well. There is the Darkness. People struggle. They hurt themselves and others. And it takes a special person who can see the whole person- the good and bad- and still love them. Still touch them. To not pull away in fear or bitterness or hate. It's so much easier to put people in the categories of "good" or "bad". Except that people never stay in those caterories if we are paying attention. Love says that is okay. Somehow. Though we are discouraged and exhausted at times. I am so thankful for those who manage to love people entirely. May it come back to them in every possible way.