This appeared in an e-mail from a friend of mine and I found it quite challenging.
Fable of the Porcupine
It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold.
The porcupines, realising the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. They came to realise that they had to make a difficult choice: either accept the quills of their Companions or disappear from the Earth.
Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.
The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.
The moral of the story is
“just learn to live with the little prickles in your life !”
This is a salutary reminder of how we in Church should be; too often we fall out over the little prickles that in reality are inconsequential and unimportant. By doing so we fail to honour our Lord Jesus who spoke of “turning the other cheek” and we send out a poor witness to the world around us. We need to learn tolerance and forgiveness and an attempt at understanding what it is that makes some people more prickly than others. Trouble is that its no good just talking about how prickly others are towards us but maybe we also need to learn what we do that prickles other people !!!!