I’ve been enjoying listening to the Christmas present my husband bought me last year. It’s a CD by Australian troubadour Paul Kelly and Kiwi music icon Neil Finn. The pair performed in an Australian tour last year and the CD (with DVD—how’s that for value!) I received for Christmas is a recording of the amazing performances that resulted.
Anyway, with Valentine’s Day just a week away, I’m thinking fond thoughts about my husband of 25 years. Listening to his gift (which was especially thoughtful because he let me choose it to avoid disappointment), I was struck by some words from one of the Paul Kelly songs, ‘Careless’:
How many times did you call my name,
knock at the door but you couldn’t get in?
I know I’ve been careless
I’ve been wrapped in a shell, nothing could get through to me
Acted like I didn’t know I had friends or family
I saw worry in their eyes, it didn’t look like fear to me
I know I’ve been careless—I took bad care of this
We all have so many important relationships in our lives: with our partner, our family, our work colleagues, the people in any groups we belong to, people at our church. As we celebrate Waitangi Day in New Zealand, we could also consider the relationships we have with others in our country—particularly with Maori if we’re Pakeha (and vice versa).
It’s easy to become careless of these relationships. To take things for granted, or to become so self-sufficient or self-absorbed that we don’t let anyone close. I pray this will be a year in which you find new ways to nurture your close relationships. And over all of these, let’s not neglect the most impacting relationship of all: our relationship with God who gives meaning and purpose to the ways in which we interact with others.
Colossians 3:13 New Living Translation
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
‘Kia ata hanga koutou tetahi ki tetahi, me te hohou i te rongo tetahi ki tetahi, ki te mea kei tetahi he take riri ki tetahi: kia rite ki ta te Ariki i hohou nei i te rongo ki a koutou, kia pera ano hoki koutou.’
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