Its storming out. The wind is blowing, the rain driving, leaves and branches are being blown from trees and power lines are waving.
As you make the rounds of your house, checking locks and doors, you notice it.
Some one has left a window open.
The floors and window coverings are soaked, the storm continues to find its way inside, slowly, but certainly causing damage.
What do you do?
Do you know who left the window open? Or are you unsure?
Do you yell for the household to come and look at the open window, demand that somebody own up to leaving the window open, all the while allowing the storm to find its way into your home?
Do you sit down somewhere next to the open window and wait for the person who opened it to come by and notice their mistake?
Do you cry and complain? Do you yell? Or do you go in search of the person of responsibility?
While you are proceeding with your complaint or search, do you leave the window open, exposing your home to the elements? Or do you close the window?
Do you just get some towels and clean up the mess? Or do you make the person responsible for the mess clean it up?
What if, after dealing with the mess of this one window, you find that other windows in your home have been randomly left open to the outside?
What if you find out that ALL of them have been left open to the rains and damage of the storm?
What if you find out that the person who is opening the windows is doing it on purpose, knowing full well the damage that will be done and the consequences that will ensue?
What if that person tells you that they are a compulsive window opener and that they cannot help it?
What if they ask you to live with their compulsive window opening and do not make any effort to bring their compulsion under control?
What if they tell you that they are not capapble of closing a window because no one ever showed them how?
What would you do?
There are some in this world who will just close the window and clean up.
Some will close up and clean up indefinatey, as long as they are alive, not mentioning it, not bothering to deal with the cause.
Some will nail the windows shut, leaving no possibility that such a thing could ever occur in this house again. Of course, this leaves the possibility that a compulsive window-opener will just find another house of windows to open.
Some will allow the window opening to go on until they cannot stand it any longer and will suddenly inform the window opener that they must leave.
Some will attempt through love and patience to model good window behavior, closing windows and cleaning up in full view of the window-opener…hoping that the culprit will notice the appropriate behavior.
Some will calmly and lovingly confront the issue and trust that it will never happen again.
Some will confront the issue, but verify during the next storm.
Some will insist that the window opener get help if it happens often and with malice.
Some will watch the weather report like hawks and remind the window opener (repeatedly) that window opening isn’t allowed during storms.
And some will confront the issue in the most aggressive way possible – severing the relationship completely.
Which path would you choose?
And if you choose to confront a window-opener, how many windows will you close and clean up after before you make the decision to hold the window opener accountable?
Or are you the window opener?
Such are our relationships.
Windows get left open.
Or are opened on purpose.
Damage is done.
Things must be cleaned up and righted.
Those things damaged and cleaned up are somehow never quite the same again...never again brand new and fresh.
It is in how we deal with the open windows of our relationships that both our character and the character of the window opener are revealed.
What sort of character do you have?