Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Truth Telling

April 3, 2009

I love truth.  Well, at least most of the time.  Sometimes I deceive myself, as we all do at various points in our lives, to avoid facing something that I don’t want to deal with.  When I am talking with someone about something, anything, whether it be the price of tea in China or something going on in their lives, I am often compelled to tell them the truth, as I see it, about the subject or situation.  This is a good thing in one respect because it seems that I have been given a gift that allows me to “put words on things” in ways others cannot.  And it is neat to see how God has used those words to help others with things they are wrestling with.  In other ways, my “truth-telling” is not so great.  First of all, as I said a few sentences ago, I tell them the truth as I see it.  Well……needless to say, the truth as I see it isn’t always the truth.  Shocker, I know.  As insightful as my words and thoughts may be, I view the world through my culture, my life experiences, my age, my education, and my hurts.

I was talking with a new friend recently about some things that allowed me to see that some of the people in my life were purposefully not givng me their personal opinion on things in order to allow me space to wrestle with the ideas I was telling them.  I often wondered why and was frustrated by the fact that it seemed they weren’t responding or dialoging with me.  And now I can see that they were loving me each and every time and allowing me to be right where I was with whatevere issue or thought or life experience I was talking about.  It’s mind blowing really.  I’m not trying to make it seem like I am painting these people perfect, but as I look back, I can see that there were multiple times these folks died to themselves in order to encourage, edify, and validate me just as I was at the time.  These people are smart and they have a significant amount of life experience and could have spoken to any of the things I said.  But many times, they kept their thoughts to themselves.  They held on to them.  And I feel as though I have eyes to see ears to hear a different dynamic of relationships with people.  And I am humbled really.  While there were times I thought I was possibly getting apathy or disinterest, it really wasn’t that at all.  It was love.

Today during my lunch break, I read today’s entry in a daily devotional book I have called The One Year Daily Grind.  A few of my past posts have been about entries from this book.  It’s not your typical devotional and today the woman who wrote it (Sarah Arthur) included a poem that she wrote after getting a ride home from college with an aquaintance and some of her friends.  The conversation was mostly about boys and at least one of the girls smoked so Sarah was miserable.  Here is the poem:

Jesus, you encountered the cigarette smoke
of your people’s self-destruction
and traveled long distances
as they talked and talked
about themselves and their boyfriends
and their messed up lives.
You listened.
You didn’t filter their hearts
through the tar
or their words
through the slang or crass language
but listened
carefully–full of care–
and through it all,
you heard their hearts crying out
for the grace to somehow stand
in the presence of him who sees all
and hears all
and knows all

and still loves.

Gracious and Loving God, I am humbled at the way You and those You have placed in my life have ministered to me.  I am in awe of the deep love that I now see in the actions of those who have sought to encourage and validate me.  And I am convicted to be more like that.  Please, Lord, now that you have given me eyes to see and ears to hear, help me listen more and speak less.  Help me to love people right where they are when I interact with them.  Help me to rely on You and Your Holy Spirit to discern when I should speak my thoughts and opinions and when I should die to self.  Help me to love purely as Jesus did.  Speaking truth as led and saying nothing when You ask me to.  Thank you once again for your unmeasureable patience and for listening carefully–and full of care–to the busyness of my heart that was not still before you.  And thank you for those you have placed in my life that immitate You in this way.  In the name of the One who spoke no words when everyone else would have.  Amen.

Advertisements

On Missing Out

January 5, 2009

I went to a basket ball game this evening with a couple friends of mine.  It was a local university vs. a university not too far away.  I have no special ties to either school except for the fact that I live close to one of them.  I went to hang out with people basically since I am not a big sports buff.  Some things about sporting events are mystifying to me.  Like the personal relationships that some fans have, or desire, with the players.  The fans don’t know the players.  They have never spoken with them.  They don’t know much (if anything) the player, where they have come from, and what makes them tick.  And yet they have this relationship with them.  Or how about the folks who give advice to the people playing whatever game is going on.  It is as if they believe 1) the players can actually hear them 2) what they have to say to the players is going to be helpful and 3) that they themselves are capable of doing what the players are doing.  Strange.  Strange indeed.

But I didn’t go for the game: I went for the experience.  And as I walked through the stadium with my friends I realized something kind of sad.  The fog that I have been living in for so many years has prevented so many experiences like this one.  There are literally thousands of opportunities that I have passed up that cannot be recovered.  The only comforting thing is that there are so many thousands more waiting to be had!  Carpe diem!

On Friends

January 4, 2009

Due partly to my introverted-ness (yes, really) I have not had many close friends growing up.  The super close, share everything, and do everything together friendships eluded me.  While I still don’t have a “share everything do everything” type of friendship, I just want to publicly say that I have some great friends.  A friend is the type of person who you can call at any time.  A friend is someone you can ask for stuff and not have to worry about imposing because they will tell you if they can’t or dont’ want to do what you have asked.  A friend is someone who helps out figure out who you are and then helps you learn to celebrate that.

I’d like to thank my friends Tenacious Weed and Fish Clamor for their steadfast love.  Thank you for mothering me and sistering me.  Thank you for being there for me even when (especially when!) that meant being with me when I was feeling blue.  Thank you for cheesy rice, help with laundry, movies borrowed, dishes washed, fabulous compliments, and much chocolate!  Thank you for letting me give and helping me learn how to receive.

You guys rock and I just wanted the world to know.

servant of ixthus

December 11, 2008

ixthusAnother friend of mine just started blogging at servant of ixthus’ blog.  He is in youth ministry and has two young children.  He and his wife will also be adopting a child from Africa in the near future.  He is a very thoughtful person so I am sure his posts will be worth reading.  Stop by and welcome him to the blogosphere if you get the chance. 

Photo by: pwbaker

Happy birthday!

November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to Jen!  Stop by and leave her some happy birthday wishes if you have a minute.  You might just make her day…or month…or year.  : )  She blogs at Fish Clamor and she is a VERY gifted writer and poet.  If you agree, be sure to tell her so!  : )