Posts Tagged ‘Friends

17
Jun
09

Move on and Chuckle

The Bible strongly encourages us to have fellowship and not to be alone. Personally, I kind of prefer the “alone in the desert” part of the Bible. I can be a little reclusive. Therefore, when the topic of tolerance comes up, I gag a little. When people want to hug, I just step away. I am confused by women who complain that their husbands don’t spend time with them. I have never sat in a circle to sing Kum By Yah or whatever that song is and I failed therapy (Yes, you can fail therapy. You can drive the therapist to meds and you will be labeled) because I would much rather discuss Iran’s election than any hidden reasons I am unhappy (it’s actually TARP, not Iran, that makes me most unhappy).

So I was a little surprised at a church gathering on Sunday when I found myself enjoying the company of virtual strangers. Not just enjoying it, but actually languishing in it. It’s a new and very small church so we don’t know each other, yet we regularly step from our different backgrounds to ponder the greatness of life. We bowed our heads in prayer and I wondered if this is was so restorative because it was fellowship ordained by the Lord. I believe that it was, since we were gathered in His name. But as the week wears on, I am picking up on something else, too:

Acceptance.

Is it possible that acceptance is the greatest expression of love? It is the essence of unconditional love. I discovered it late last night when I learned I am “friend of the week,” an honor bestowed by complicated first love George, whom you may read about in my very first posts. George and I dated for years, but grew apart as adults since I got married and became a conservative Christian and he embraced his homosexuality and the more liberal ideology that comes with it (that is the quintissential definition of growing apart, BTW).

George and I had not spoken for a while…Many years…and we reconnected on Facebook. It’s been awkward, but finally we had an exchange that went beyond liking each other’s status. That led to the silly honor of friend of the week. To him, it’s very silly, and he may even be making fun of me. To me, though, it meant the world. He introduced me as on-again off again girlfriend of liberal roots who turned into a kinder, gentler Ann Coulter and he thanked me for calling him out on his liberal rants. And that is what hoisted me to Cloud 9. Our Facebook friendship was awkward because not only are we different from each other, but we are different from our expectations of each other. Unfulfilled expectations are the enemy of relationships. Thus, this acknowldgement of our differences was an amazing gift. He will not likely know the value of what he did, but it will change me forever.

I began to consider that he had accepted me for who I was then and who I am now and I thought of the friends I have now. I have 64 on Facebook (not that I’m keeping score), but I have 2 true, clean-out-my-house-before-my-funeral friends. I feel blessed to have two; I think many have fewer. They get to clean my house before my funeral because they know what’s in it and they still love me. If they did happen to find a surprise, they would chuckle and move on, not judge or question. Maybe they would squeal, but it would be with delight in knowing I had more to offer, something yet uncovered.

This is how it’s going to be from now on. I would much rather chuckle and move on than leave the house a mess, too disgusted to continue. Jesus never turned from anyone; he never made a person feel shamed or unfit. We people have mastered that. Ironically, we even do it in His name. I am sure that is different from His expectation and yet he will still make us His friend of the week.*

*Please excuse the vacation bible school cliche. It was unavoidable. Surely you understand and accept me anyway.

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