Thursday, February 16, 2012

Two Parts

My brother says there are songs for almost every experience, every emotion.  Most of them just express well what you feel.  Psalms, he says, does a great job of identifying where you’re at so that you can take it somewhere: offer it to God, learn, move to a new place of trust and worship.  But something I have been thinking this week is that there aren’t always songs.  Or I don’t know them.  My experiences are rather complex right now, and I am dissatisfied with every song on my playlist.  I’m still listening to a few, though, just because I want to hear truth.  So in a way, I’m taking the second half of the Psalms and just begging them to drag me out of this perplexity – not that I believe the remedy I am looking for is as simple as a list of well-written songs.  It’s going to be a process. 

The other night I was discussing this with a friend, how I’ll realize that I’ve failed in my friendships somehow, and what I want to do is call up my friends and meet them in two hours and act the opposite and apologize and explain and generally fix everything instantly.  Repentance isn’t really like that.  I can’t entirely undo the way I’ve acted.  And one burst of being good isn’t worth nearly as much as treating my friends well every day here on out.  I can’t fix my friendships all in a day, and I can’t restore my reputation like that either.  (One thing I realized while talking with my friend is that this impulse is partially driven by pride.  I am not quite as eager to do right by my friends as I am in a hurry to ensure they have a good impression of me.) 

And long ago I realized that friendships aren’t built in a day.  They aren’t even necessarily built in a series of intense interviews.  Sometimes you build friendships by giving a smile when they’re having a hard day, and that’s all.  You can drop a single line of encouragement.  Observe them doing something they enjoy – doing it with them, but without a lot of conversation.  I have to be content with the interaction that comes, even if it isn’t the “baring of our souls and the telling of the most appalling secrets.” 

On the other hand, I’m always after being a better friend, how to make the most of the time that we’re given, how to clearly and concisely communicate who I am and what I hope for them. 

Two parts: Being real and moving towards an unrealized ideal. 

To God be all glory.  


Anonymous said...

I have found that friendship, like trust, is simply given. I gave you mine not on the basis of my impression of you. We have had interactions, and there have been surprises, but I didn't give you my friendship because I thought you were something or didn't think you were something else. You have it. You can keep it however you like.

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Thanks for the sentiments, anonymous commenter. I could probably do a better job of keeping your friendship if I knew who you are?

To God be all glory,