"Fight for her," my spiritual director said over the phone.
I'd just shared with him one of the ways I knew the Lord was teaching me about mercy. Compassion. Love. Kindness. Forgiveness. A softened heart. None of it was easy, or had been easy. And all of it was painful, or had been painful at some point. I was no longer a friend to someone I really truly believed I'd be friends with forever.
"What do you mean 'fight for her'?!" I asked.
I was honestly baffled that he'd say such a thing after I'd explained all of the ugly details of how this friendship had ended.
He explained, "Mercy is loving when no one else chooses it. Mercy is seeing the other not with your eyes, or the pain in your heart, but with the eyes and heart of Christ. Fight for her, still, by offering the confusion and hurt you feel in the form of mercy towards her."
It's not something I'd ever considered. What I had considered was how God could heal what had felt like an open wound for such a long time.
"Fight for her." These words have led to so much healing, goodness, and light. "Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (Matthew 5:23-24).
I don't know what God will do with this former friendship. I don't know if healing will ever entail being friends again. But what I do know, and am so sure of, is this: I can fight for her still, even from afar. I can choose to be charitable in my thoughts. I can choose to forgive repeatedly in my heart. And I will offer it all to Him Who sees the heartbreak of it all.
This fight for goodness is worth it, sister. He is here with us, amidst it all.