“Had enough yet Tony?”
Bill and Tony played basketball every Saturday morning. It was their attempt to stay in shape and stay connected. Each now in their 40’s, they’d been friends since grade school.
Bill stopped to catch his breath, “You seem off today. I’m scoring on you at will. You okay?”
“I’m fine. Let’s go! You won’t get by me again.”
Bill dribbled towards Tony, then quickly past him to his left, scoring easily. He looked up at Tony who was just standing there.
“What’s wrong? You’re not here.”
“Got stuff on my mind. Tough to concentrate I guess. I’m sorry.”
Bill looking concerned, “No need to apologize. What’s up?”
Tony breathed deeply, “Helen and I are having issues and we’re just not getting past them. To me the answer is so clear but she’s being so stubborn. She won’t see reason.”
“Maybe a counselor would help.”
Indignant, Tony shot back, “Why do we need a counselor? What good would that do?”
“Well, you say things are clear but honestly, that’s your side of the story. I’m sure Helen would say the same about you, that you’re being stubborn. A counselor could help you see each other’s side. There are always two sides to everything, my friend.”
“Are there? Are there really always TWO sides … to EVERYTHING?”
“Yep, always! From the little things to the big questions about life, there are always two sides. Take life in general. This life we live, our time here on Earth, is not the only side. It’s not all that there is. There’s another side.”
Tony looked puzzled, “What do you mean?”
“You and Helen are having trouble because you don’t see each other’s side of the issue. And until you do, you can’t see how the other side impacts your side. Similarly, this life is not all that there is. After this life is over, there’s another one, another side. And when you see or understand that, you can understand how this side impacts that side.”
“I guess you mean Heaven?”
“Yes, call it Heaven, paradise, the great beyond, whatever. But seeing both sides helps you understand how one side affects the other. Our lives here, our choices on this side, impact the other side.”
“I know you have a deep Christian faith, Bill, and I respect that. But I’ve always looked at that thinking as a crutch.”
“Really? Cause I’ve always seen the non-Christian view as a crutch”
“How do you figure?”
“Seems to me that it’s a greater source of comfort to convince one’s self that this life is all there is and that nothing awaits us. It’s much more difficult to embrace the reality that one day you will be held accountable for your life. To me, the non-Christian view is the crutch.”
You could see the light bulb go off in Tony’s eyes, “I never saw it that way.”
“The point is every coin has two sides but they’re still connected, still the same coin. You and Helen are married, connected, same coin. The help a counselor could be is in assisting you both to re-focus on that connection and at resolving the issue from that viewpoint. Now, all you each see is your own side.”
“Wow, thanks Bill! This really helped. I’ll talk to Helen about making an appointment with a counselor today.”
“And I’ll keep praying that you two find a church. One that can help you connect the two sides of another coin … the one called life.”
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