Thursday, December 16, 2010

Real Conversations

It is wee hours of the morning, but my mind is running 120 mph in second gear, so the RPM's are high but am not red lining the drive train just yet. Needed to stop here and get some stuff downloaded out of my head before my body will accept the notion of a night's restful sleep.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. Preparing for the holidays, getting the house decorated, shopping for gifts, helping friends, working a butt load of hours, catching up with family and desperately trying to carve out a bit of space for myself when I am able.

Work is going smashingly. I truly love my jobs and the amazing people I work with. I have been so blessed this season financially that it is really hard to take it all in. While success has always found me, my employers and customers have went out of their way to ensure that I am appreciated and for that I am deeply grateful. Just the other night I waited on a foursome, and the gift they left for me truly had me in tears. I picked up their check and the older gentleman, the father I presume, said he needed no change, that it was all for me. I said thank you, wished them a pleasant evening and rushed off to attend to my other tables and two banquets I was captain of. When I returned to my station to close checks, I was stunned and into my head sprang the verse, "My God shall supply ALL your needs, according to His riches in glory, in Christ Jesus." I pride myself on the service that I can provide people and am fantastic at my job, but man, this really got to me. I am actually tearing up just thinking about it now. That God, even with all my problems and fuck-ups I make, still loves me so much that me can move strangers to show me His amazing love! I do not deserve any of this.

The last few days I have had the opportunity to connect with a new friend and share some intriguing and fascinating conversations. Everything from theology,  the finer points of doctrine, to the things in life we enjoy and our pasts and present lives. I guess in making a new friend it has got me to thinking about how very rare that authentic and meaningful communication occurs these days. Our lives get so full of business that we often do not have much time for anything more than fleeting and surface dialogue. To be able to open up and simply think out loud with another person, without any preconceived notions, ideas or agenda has been truly liberating for me, to say the least.

In the past, my life has always been full of incredibly close relationships, Whether it was my partner or boyfriend at the time, or friendships made through childhood and college to those connections with my shipmates in the Navy, I was always blessed with an abundance of diverse and challenging people to share life and space with. As of late, those connections and interactions have become more scarce. Life takes us away from life and somewhere in the midst of it all, we lose touch with others and more sadly, with ourselves. There is a certain safety that is found in the null space of meaningless conversation that lets me retreat back into my head and heart and neglect sharing who I am and what I deal with on a daily basis. When we make the time to connect and share heart and head space, something amazing happens. It is almost like a transfusion of life and in the trading of ideas and exchange of history, I rediscover that person I was and the one I am becoming.

Tonight (this morning) before bed I think of another verse, due to where our conversations touched on. David said in Psalm 51 the phrase, "my sin is ever before me".  I took a walk down memory lane tonight and found some dark corners that I had not thought on in years. Things that some would consider secrets and shameful that are merely events that have transpired in my past. I never carried a huge emotional load attached to them as I had to compass or bearing to compare them to, but now, on this side of my faith, I feel an incredible pain and loss for some of the choices I have made growing up. When everything was happening, I simply lived and reacted, survived and experienced. I never told myself or others "No" and simply made the choices to sacrifice anything and everything as long as it got me where and what I wanted. I almost became an emotional cannibal of sorts and would continually tear off huge pieces of myself in exchange for the position, power, experience and connection that I have always so deeply craved. Even as recent as this week, I have found myself in places and with people that simple choices eventually brought me to. Even in these near mistakes some peace and victory can be found. Waking up with your arms around another person who cares for you is rarely a bad thing, especially when good choices have been made and no regrets exist.

It was pointed out to me tonight, that possibly in all these years I have been searching for something.  Or maybe I am searching for someone? I know that I am a life long wanderer and desperate sojourner. A motto in life for me has always been, "I walk the earth." One that ties in crushingly with the concept that, "No man careth for my soul." Even my name reversed spells out the call of a nomadic existence. Always running, always moving, the next horizon, the next new space and place...

So these real conversations... they happen. They are not planned. They cannot be forced. They organically spring from time and opportunity. The ability and responsibility we have to be vulnerable towards one another, to share love and compassion for others on this journey and to lay aside, even for awhile the pride and arrogance that all too often masks the small child that hides within. I have been challenged in my thinking, pushed beyond the scope of my small faith, inspired to live in a different way and had my burden lightened simply by talking to another friend. Somewhere in all of that, an intersection happened and I am elated and excited to know that none of us are truly alone in this life. Not as long as we keep reaching out, with open hands and hearts, to share what little truth some of us may possess. It is in these meetings of the minds that life happens and I see just a tiny glimpse of what true community and ministry between Christians is supposed to be.

Those who love us are fearless enough to confront us when wrong, compassionate enough to listen to confessions and gracious enough to extend simple forgiveness illustrated by a listening ear. Though time and distant separates us all after a fashion, there is still always room for yet another soul in our lives. I have never heard anyone ever express the sentiment that they had too much love, too many friends and an over abundance of compassion shared with them.

In my life, I have always deserved my enemies...but never my friends.

My request to you all is to seek out those friends, those emotional lodestones, the compasses that live in others that we all have somewhere and make connections. Share life. Talk about where it hurts. Share the joy and happiness as you find it. Bear each others burdens. Talk about all the silly stuff we forget about as we grow into adults and make life amazing and connected for the people around you. This is why we are here. This is why we care. In it...we can make a difference.




  1. I love this post so much. "My God shall supply ALL your needs," He sure does. Thanks for your important words of inspiration in the last paragraph, noted. God bless.