Friends? What friends…. I have found myself at a crossroads where I never thought I would be standing…At one point in my life, I had many “friends” who I thought were of the kind that last. Seriously, I didn’t think they all would “last” but I did think that the bulk of them would still be around, that they would be able to withstand the stress of “me” and that they would continue as we were…”close friends”. I mean for the most part, I had vacationed with them, stayed in their homes and they in mine, communicated with them on a regular basis if not by letters or email but face to face. Then an ugly thing happened and my “friends” began to be sifted through many different things that came in to my life that they couldn’t deal with. Loss of a ministry, not by my choosing but by another’s, was a key spot that I found myself on the wrong side, their wrong side not God’s. For a variety of reasons, some did not know where I fit in their lives anymore. THAT was very telling! Apparently, the friendship was based on very tenuous thread of doing and acting the way my “friends” thought I should and, when that was no longer the case, they didn’t know what to do with me. That friendship was based on faith. Another form of “friend” is found in the work place. I bought into the idea that I had friends but those aren’t friends either. If I am not worth spending time with outside of work, then it isn’t anything more than a comfortable socializing while completing a job. Or, when you move out of one department into another, all of a sudden no one knows you!When these break downs occur, one can’t help but wonder if any of it was true! Note – I do have a few very close friends who have stuck with me through many pains and joys. I am grateful for them.
When I invite you into my home for the very first time, I am making myself vulnerable, inviting you to see deeper into me than you ever have before…I am making a statement that a new facet of our relationship is beginning. I am willing to be scrutinized, opening up to you and expectant of some form of confirmation on your part that this is a step you are equally happy about.
First, you must understand that my home is my frame around me…Just like a frame enhances a piece of art and focuses your eyes to what is held in that space… Within my home you will see why I am the way I am…you will get a taste of what I search for in life, to surround myself with and thereby be. I invite you to cross a threshold, enter through a doorway that I have opened for you, emotionally as well as physically, and come in. This should be a sacred act.
On my walls, you will see art hung and pictures displayed and mementos of my life up to this point. The colors are me, the windows I look out of display where I find comfort in viewing my world, my bed is my sanctuary and the leather couch my nest. My rocking chair has a history, the heron picture reminds me of a beloved person, and the boxes of pictures hold a trail of my years.
But, when that invitation is rebuffed, when I am given flimsy reasons why you are not going to be coming, “I can’t come this weekend because I have a baby shower next weekend and we are responsible for the decorations.” Just painful statements that say, “no, thank you! I’d rather not get to know you anymore than the tenuous amount I know you now”, “I don’t care what your framework is like” and , furthermore, “ I act like I’m your friend but you are not a priority in my life at all.”.
If I extend that hand symbolically or physically and find a cold reception, I won’t extend it again.
Perhaps the best solution then is to not open my door…. To protect the me and keep me safe behind those walls. Outside of them, you may see me and hear me but only what I want you to see and decide you should see. The rest of me is there within my frame and rocking in my rocking chair.
I have a few soapboxes that I usually climb on in the early morning when I am having coffee with my husband…He would rather experience a caffeine-wake-up but it seems like that is the time when my brain is sparking with leftovers from the day before and I spout them. His suggestion? “Why don’t you put that on your blog?” I know he simply wants to share with all of you… At least, that is what I will choose to believe! 😉
There is a particular radio station that I tune into now and then. It’s a “Christian” broadcast and, specifically, a talk show at the time that I plug in. In the past, I would look it up in order to listen with amazement and horror at some of the things the host talked about but, fortunately, lately I have tuned in to see if I can learn something.
Nope, the content has not gotten any more enlightened than it ever was. Such a disappointment!
This particular afternoon, the host was talking about a specific facet of one of our political leaders. He would play a portion of a speech made by another of the leading political figures of our time interspersing his views and opinions on how enlightened this person is. The formula is old as time of playing parts of something someone is saying in order to emphasize your opinion of one thing or another. I find the host’s political views disgusting and offensive. His motto would be “God and Country and pass the ammunition” if you could put it in one statement.
The question that came to me as I listened was whether this was right per se. Is it right to use this venue for expressing your opinion on political hot button issues? ALL the time? It is a talk show which, I guess, gives him the room to “talk” about whatever subject he would like to discuss but then that begs the question whether he would not be using his time to a better advantage by talking about…let’s say…the things we as followers of Christ experience day to day. What are those stumbling blocks in our ways? Are we supposed to get in to the argument of the day or are we to stay focused on our walk? What is required of us in the political arena or any arena we find ourselves in?
Why is it political topics that separate us into the good little boys and girls and the sinful ones? Is that the only measure we should use for whether we are living as we should be or not?
I don’t think we are supposed to be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good but I don’t see Christ getting into the politics of the day when He was here. He didn’t stand in the synagogue and rant about the latest law or trespass of a law. He spoke of what we are as followers of Him, how His Father saw us and He healed many and ate with the tax collectors and prostitutes. He fed the hungry and gave what He had to the poor. Heavens, He seems almost to be more on the side opposite to this radio Host’s!
I know we all will be surprised when we get to heaven of how wrong or right our opinions may have been on a subject or whether we should have even been involved in the argument.
But, one thing I know is that we will all find forgiveness and love…and I don’t know if we will then say who is right and who was wrong….
It’s raining and dark…the pavement outside my window is reflecting the street lights and each headlight of the vehicles that whiz by…
Am I alone in being the type of person who takes a few years to get into doing something even though I have a hint at how much it would benefit me? I started this blog a few years ago, it lay dormant wondering to itself, I am sure, whether I would ever get back here to continue. I’m here and I’ll come and go but this is the year for change. I can feel it…
This is the year when I will do something new…It’s a newborn year and hardly begun to breathe so why should I not feel the same stirrings? Should I not be allowed to be free and learn to breathe evenly, to blink at the sun, to see new views and visions, to taste of the wind and earth, to close my eyes and learn to crawl, later to walk haltingly and then with strength?
I think I’ll jump in and join the adventure that is growing outside my window and inside my heart…
I failed right at the start or did I win? I mean, not following up is a failure but never following up is definitely the worst and here I am nudging myself forward to start again…That is what life is about, isn’t it? Nudging? We don’t all run, some of us crawl and some hobble, but most meander. We want to walk with purpose and move forward but it all is moving forward unless you are going in circles, which sometimes we do. To nudge something is to encourage, to draw forward, to push with steady and slight pressure or a series of pushes in a direction…To nudge requires, a nudger and the nudgee, can we be both? All of a sudden, I really like the word nudge! Nudge can be a reminder also, a reminder to accomplish what we set out to do, a reminder that it isn’t as bad as all that, a nebulous slight shove to get going…I don’t know how you feel about it but a nudge can be a good thing… I am going to nudge myself on!
A stirring confusion of joy and riotous color
That trickles out of my fisted hand and dissipates
Into the grey of this moment.
I had it all a twinkle ago and this twinkle
Crept up on me with a thundering murderous
A picket fence of flirting pain, a swing of barbed wire,
Elusive and out of grasp of my eye and mind.
A bright red trickle seeps from my soul reminding me
Of life eternal and temporal.
Thinking I am strong, I leap off the cliff
Finding out I am not, I slam against the face
Thinking I cower, I find myself flying
Thinking I am not comfortable, I find myself making my bed
I am said to walk to a different drummer, to be morose and feed off of the sad in life, to possess an awkward shyness, brave enough to do what has to be done, saying things I shouldn’t say, a well-put-together scatter-brained woman, passionate as a tiger and weak as a lamb. But I get to uniquely interpret from the inside things that are not evident on the outside. I keep fear and hesitation on my shoulders like guardian angels, am very self-critical though recently was steered toward the thought that that may not be all bad as it can also be called self-reflective, don’t take compliments easily and self-pity is my middle name but, for the most part, I like myself…all other moments, I range in negative feelings toward myself from self-deprecating to scorn. I run with ideas, grandiose ideas, that fly away like fireflies when I am not watching them closely, blinking their little lights until they disappear from view. I have felt like a by-stander, watching from a distance…A butterfly in the rain….