Friday, 28 December 2012

The Spirit of Offend

Great peace have they which love thy Torah (Law): and nothing shall offend them."
Psalm 119:165

The above is my mother's favourite verse. And it is one of my as well.
I try to live it and it is hard to do.
But not impossible; it can be done.
However, there was a time I didn't think I could ever live this truth. Days I still can't. But I am working on it.
We live in a world, among fellow human beings, a world that is easily to offend.
Here in the Untied States, for example, you make the sign of OK and no problem; most know what it means.
But go outside the US and that same sign is an object of offend; for it has a far different meaning and considered an insult.
Among my Muslim friends, I am careful not to show the soles of my shoes, I don't touch or serve anyone with my left hand (unclean, in many parts of the world, it is the hand you clean yourself with)
Many Americans become offended when our leaders bow to another country's leader and many of our Leaders have raised eyebrows overseas with their behavior; whether it is a friendly wink to the Queen or showing too much skin in the presence of a Hindi Prime Minister.
Recently, I had a major disagreement with two friends, long time friends, more like family. With one, things really got heated because he felt I was attacking him and his beliefs, when in fact, he wasn't listening to me, just defending his stance.
One friend and I agreed to disagree; we have before and we will again.
The other, became offended and ended the friendship
It hurts and I am praying that the relationship can be healed and mended.
For years, my mother told me that taking offend is my choice. Even if that person meant to hurt me , demean me, yes even attack me. Depite it all, it is still my choice to pick up the offence.
Being corrected and facing the fact that we are wrong about something also causes offend. None of us like to admit that we are wrong, even if the correction is for our own good.
The truth dose set us free, but first it will make you mad and offend.
It isn't easy, but there are times I have to push through the offend to receive the lesson, correction, yes even adjust a way of thinking, to give others the benefit of the doubt. The same grace G-d has given me.
Today, I asked my sister-friend to please forgive for thinking the worse of her; I thought she too had decided to end our 20 something year old sisterhood. I was wrong.
She said there was nothing to forgive; she gave me grace.
Grace.That is what defends Offend.
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