Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Appreciation Post on a Different Kind of Friend

Different in that, this person is different than the kind of person that I usually allow myself to be friends with. Usually, when this kind of person and I are friends, it ends badly; and I've learned to stay away. The kind of person who tends to own a room by walking into it, the kind of person whose fan club is everyone they've ever met.
Well, this time, I didn't have much of a choice. I had to be this person's friend in order to keep the peace around here, and I'm so glad I did, because I would've missed a chance to get to know someone who's really been a blessing to me.
It's not often, in an extroverted personality, that you find a kind of understanding and comprehension of the introverted mind that allows for real friendship. Often, the extrovert thinks the introvert should "fix" themselves and become extroverted. Rarely does the extrovert understand that a stoic face does not necessarily denote a stoic mind. This person has.
The list is short of people who put forth effort to draw me out of myself. The list is short of people who are capable of and allowed to pick on me, on my terms, in such a way that I enjoy it, instead of closing up like a clam.
Far and away, my friends have been like me, with a certain reticence towards the outside world. This is why my friendships tend to work. It's a rare, unfamiliar, and greatly appreciated sort of friend who can be so different from me without, well, irking me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Journey with Journee

Thursday mornings are always a little bit hazy, mostly recovering from Wednesday night, more like Monday than even Monday itself.
Last night was colorful, to say the least. Our little mission church has adopted several more apartment complexes over the course of the last week, and we could keep an army busy busing kids back and forth and knocking on doors and loving on people - our little army does as much as we can.
One of these apartment complexes was the last stop on our route last night; I often don't get to ride the bus, but last night it just worked out. My friend Nate was driving, and I was in the seat behind his, trying to keep the crowd under control. Those kids can make me laugh so hard, no matter how hard I'm trying to be mad at them. And, just as we're finally pulling back into the church parking lot in an empty bus, I realize that one little girl had left her house key on the floor. Backtrack we did to one of the new complexes to knock on doors we've never knocked on before to try and track down the owner of the key. The owner we did not find, but we managed to find her friend Journee, who helped us find the girl's father, and all's well that ends well.
We're about to grow. We are. The church as a whole, but the children's ministry especially. And what scares me is how small a team I have here ready to receive them and the gaps that have yet to be filled. And I'm praying: I really am. Praying for workers. Workers who can be tuned in and committed, workers who I can depend on. Jehovah Jireh, right?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Who Trespass Against Us

So you start with a group of kids, and you stand them in a circle. And you toss a bean-bag around a few times, nothing complicated or competative, just get it moving. Then you pause, and you take a great big box labeled "GRUDGE (unforgiveness)" to it, and you hand it to one of the children. Bonus points if the box is bigger than he is. And you explain a situation wherein you (their fearless leader) have done something to the child (stolen a hamburger, in our case) and he's really mad at you about it. And you've apologized, and you're not losing sleep over it, but he's still holding that, well, grudge. Then, continue your game as if nothing was different. Except, when you throw the beanbag to the child with the grudge, the beanbag is going to bounce off solid cardboard and hit the ground with a thud. Proceed as if you don't understand, meet the same result the next time you toss the beanbag at the child. Hopefully, the child is standing still, giggling and a little embarrassed. Maybe they've understood too quickly and explained the point before you could. Either way.
Unforgiveness hurts the one who harbours it. Grudges damage the one holding them. And it keeps your hands full and makes you incapable of doing things that used to be easy for you. It interrupts the flow of everything and it gets in the way of other relationships. The hands that used to be so good and liting and loving and catching everything life threw at you become useless, unweildy, dull. And it's bigger than you, and you can't see over it or around it or through it and it fills your vision and it's you. It's you, not the person you aren't forgiving that's hurting and frustrated and incapacitated. Unforgiveness hurts the heart that lets it go to seed.
Father, forgive me my trespasses, especially when I trespass against You by refusing to forgive those who trespass against me.