In our families, friendships, work places and community groups, we see many examples where relationships become damaged and sometimes even fractured. When we drill down to the root cause of these breakdowns, it often revolves around not having the capacity to move gently around each other’s jagged edges. A wise friend and mentor once advised that there is very little in life worth damaging a relationship over. Within a family and school context we can grow the capacity to recognise the jagged edges that we bring into relationships. By doing this we let go of the expectation that people in our life are perfect. Instead, we see that as human beings we all have our messy jagged edges that at times hurt and disappoint. Learning to build relationships through these times is an important life skill. Within a school context we do this through restorative practices where there is open discussion about the hurts caused, consequences experienced and relationships restored.
One of the core teachings of the Lutheran Church is that we are all born sinful and in need of God’s grace. Our real self is less than our ideal self. Recognising this in ourselves and others helps us to slow down and appreciate the messiness of being human. There is time and space for perspective to be gained as we quietly turn to God and pray for guidance and wisdom to strengthen relationships, even when different perspectives are held.