I find myself waking after a rather short night. I was up late grading reports, and then woke up early in a fair amount of turmoil about something going on at work. I can’t really blog the specifics, but I feel it will help me to describe the general nature of my turmoil.
For those of you who know me well, you know that integrity is very important to me. In some ways, it’s a life and death issue for me, since I cling to the integrity I find in working in the 12-step program that keeps me from relapsing into active alcoholism. You may also know that compromise on matters of personal integrity is almost impossible for me.
“Be compassionate as your Father/Mother is compassionate.” This exhortation from Jesus is a teaching I take very seriously. I try to look for the best intentions in others, to give them the benefit of the doubt, try my best not to be judgmental…
So, now I have a situation where my sense of professional integrity has been placed into conflict with this invitation to show mercy, and the stakes are mighty high. I feel angry with the persons whose choices have created this situation, and I have this strong inclination to stand firm in my integrity and let the chips fall where they may. On the other hand, I cannot ignore the whisper… “Be compassionate as your Father/Mother is compassionate.”
Anyway, I ended up taking a compromise stand where the demands of compassion nudged me to loosen my death grip on integrity, and it feels lousy. But somehow, I think I would feel more lousy had I dug in my heels and refused the option of showing some mercy. It’s just lousy all the way around…
If you’ve ever considered that grace can be costly, well, this is an example of a costly grace. The practice of compassion in this case came at a very high personal cost to me. Would I make the same decision again? I honestly don’t know…maybe the passage of some time will bring some perspective.
I’m off to Chicago for the weekend to spend some time with some friends I haven’t seen since May. It will be good to just relax with these women who love me as I am. The only question is how much caffeine I’ll have to ingest to make the trip safely, considering I’ve had less than 5 hours of sleep.