I have a friend called sam.
he has taught me lessons in friendship and love of people for which I am truly,
some of the lessons I learned from a season living life alongside sam were illumined all the more for me, I am certain in the face of a comparison from friendships past. for me, at that place in my story, the Lord needed to redeem, heal, and properly define some misconceptions and untruths I held about care without condition.
one summer afternoon, a group of us lounged on the pool deck allowing our weekly taco lunch to digest. sam sat on my left, legs outstretched, one chuck taylor leisurely crossed over the other. a guy strolled over sipping coffee out of a mug with a mustache emblazoned with on its side. he stopped to address sam.
"sam, I didn't know you were a hipster!", this fellow said with inflection, pointedly glancing at my friend's sneakers. (here it is important to note that sam spent his days working down the mountain in the horse barn wearing quite different attire than at the time of this conversation being recalled.)
sam looked up at this gent and replied, "I'm not. I'm Sam."
his matter-of-fact tone I will not soon forget.
I smile now as write remembering how he spoke. without pretension, without a touch of arrogance, without malice or mockery...simply from a place of self-understanding and perspective.
do we ever like to be 'put in a box'? I certainly do not.
we are living, breathing, growing, changing creatures. we were created to be so.
I have another friend called kate.
kate possesses a level of authenticity that blesses me deeply. during the season I lived alongside her, she asked me questions that I am not sure anyone has asked me before or since that time.
she asked me what I was about. well, she didn't actually ask me outright, but she told me she wondered what I was about and then simply... waited for my reply.
that silence led me to truly examine my heart to answer her honestly.
as she was bold and real with me, she led me into a place of honesty.
she loved me well.
another moment which will live in my story where depth resided and challenge was felt.
raison d'être. reason to be.
I am of the opinion that we all need to know of what things we are convinced
and to be aware of those things which compel us.
recently, I have been helping out with a local alpha course.
this intentionally created safe place for pondering life is full of people who speak john 1.14 language. my church in london, htb, is the source of this haven for hashing out one's questions, and though I attended a bit of a training while living in london, my focus on my own ministry kept me from going on the course.
my instinct has proven to be correct. the approach, the content, the people...
I have quite enjoyed myself.
how impressed I am by people and by the courage it takes for us to be vulnerable.
in my nature, a risk-taking demeanour, I have not. the list I could make here of friends' names who would attest to this fact is lengthy. for many years, I have 'played it safe' and have mindfully sidestepped potentially dangerous situations.
I still would stand on my proverbial soapbox and preach that always choosing the risky path is not necessarily the best choice. yes, I would.
and yet concurrently, in my experience, my personhood, my 'be'ing, has become
when time is spent with other 'be'ings who "live life to the full"by
as I am quite impressionable, I strive to lean into those people and places where I recognise authenticity. and I get to choose.
we all get to choose.
oh, that I would choose wisely so as to continue forward motion and that I would mindfully be thankful for those friends who love me so well whether their 'be'ing shares my zip code or resides in a land too far for my liking.
Wednesday, 4 March 2015
movement.se déplacer. (to move oneself)
the train which carried me the route of london to virginia water and back with its red seats placed within carriages filled with passengers who rarely speak above a whisper regardless of their number of companions travelling alongside them, makes my heart happy to remember.
this still shot of said transport appears to be steady, but with a glance out the window
you see it actually is in motion.
as you well know, the past dozen years have found me processing and maneuvering.
striving to stay steady while progressing.
looking for "the rhythmic character or quality" of life,
the proper cadence
is not an easy one.
each transition is different, n'est pas (is it not)?
thankfully, wherever we go, we take ourselves with us, but years on, in new settings, sharing life with people with different names and stories, alongside numerous other factors, each phase of life feels a bit unique within its sameness.
I could fill this page avec mots et phrases (with words and sentences) to describe right now, but I see no need, as they might be interpreted as wicked melancholy.
my intention in taking the time to compose and share is not to commiserate but to simply give a peek through the window of my current state of being.
my life when more full of solitude is naturally filled with more contemplation.
some thinking is good.
without space to ponder, health drifts out of my grasp.
too much time on my own?
health drifts out of my grasp.
"and, we're back...", to the life quest for the
"therefore, as you go, disciple people in all nations,
in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit..."
matthew 28.19 (ISV)
the great commission, this verse has been deemed.
I chose this translation with great intention.
in my processing, living life alongside, moving into the neighbourhood disposition,
"as you are going" is the personification of my personality and approach to life.
I recognise that looking to live a life, organically making friends and building community, is much more difficult in adulthood. and yet, I still want that to happen. perhaps that is the six year old child in me. separating life into segments will never make sense to me. no.
spend forty hours a week with one group of people.
then, go home and do life with a whole other lot. "you gotta keep 'em separated..."
please do not misunderstand me.
my childlike stubbornness and joy is woven into my spirit with a healthy amount (at times wicked excessive amounts) of mature awareness and desire to manage expectations properly.
needing work friends to also live next door to me is silly and not real life.
(well not real life for me right now, at least. I have experienced this type of dynamic and have many friends who do live in such a way.)
I simply miss living life with fewer segments.
so, how do I navigate this less than preferable, highly prevalent reality while keeping hope alive for finding organic relationship?
I have no easy answer.
however, I do have a deep fervent desire to keep looking and settle not.
so for those of you who share my temperament and at times find yourself living life as an adult in less than natural social situations, wishing we were all kids once more who just spend time together without appointment or plan other than just to "be",
know you are not alone.
may we keep hope alive,
look and pray to see opportunities, and
choose to be glad.