Nectarines and grace

I was eating a nectarine when you betrayed me. I was walking from the kitchen into the bedroom of my apartment, munching a firm but sweet nectarine when you dropped a bomb into my life. I remember sitting down on my bed, floral sheets, reversible comforter, and just sitting there. Stunned. You continued to talk, to explain yourself, maybe even to dig yourself out of the crater you had just created…but I didn’t hear anything else. It was all just ringing in my ears after the explosion.

You had lead me to believe something for six years, encouraged me, been my champion in the darkest times. You stayed by my side and whispered those words to keep me holding on…for years. And now, you were denying that it was ever your idea. You shot me down, and then wrapped my hand around the gun. And you left me there with my dead ideals.

The silence was deafening after I hung up. I was the alonest I had ever been. No one had ever done that to me before. I wasn’t sure how to feel, what was real or what was wrong. I had thought I had known just ten minutes prior. My apartment was real, my nectarine was real, the curly cord to my phone was real…but they had all heard the lie. Would they betray me too? Would they deny their own existences? I just sat there in the destruction…and you went on with your blissfully ignorant life.

I knew why you did it. I knew why you did it as soon as you did it. But that didn’t make recovery any easier. You had realized, as I had, that we had been believing the wrong thing. We had hoped and cajoled and dreamed about the wrong thing. We had wasted a lot of time on that wrong thing, and you wanted to deny any association. You wanted to sweep it under the rug and move on because it wasn’t going to work out. The only problem with sweeping it under the rug was that you swept me along too. You tossed me out with that trashy idea that never was any good anyway. That wasteful idea that you didn’t know anything about.

I knew you well enough to know why you did it because I’d seen you do it with other things along the way. But I didn’t think you’d do it to me. I didn’t think you could ignore me that easily. But apparently you could.

I finished my nectarine that night, and I didn’t talk to you for a while. I wasn’t sure what to say to you. Even ‘oh I’m fine’ was a lie. I wasn’t fine. I had been amputated. The part of me that trusted you had been blown away. It would never be there again. And though I missed that part very much, I had to build the muscles of grace and discernment to take its place. I didn’t know how long it would take to build those muscles. We had wasted six years doing the wrong thing together. How long would it take to do the right thing alone?

It didn’t take six years to do the right thing. I realized that I couldn’t show you grace if I wasn’t around you. I couldn’t discern how to live with you if I wasn’t living with you. So, after a while, I accepted that you betrayed me and that I would love you anyway, but not trust you. You didn’t deserve to be close to me again, but that’s what grace is all about. Loving the humanity out of someone.

I want to have a relationship with you. I want to have you in my live, though it will never be the same. Maybe this spring, you and I could share some nectarines.

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One thought on “Nectarines and grace

  1. Phoenixes do rise out of the ashes… beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness … yep and the nectarine trees are bearing fresh fruit this spring…

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