Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Excuse me, please.

I have this friend. In many ways, she is much like me, residing in a constant state of wrestling with the hard questions surrounding her faith, which unites us in this impeccable tension only the self tortured soul, destined to inquire regarding every single divine thing can fathom - not to stand in opposition to God, but to enter into true and honest Communion with Him. Only she is much kinder. Because so often when we talk about how so and so could possibly do or say such and such, while we shake our heads and point our pious mental fingers in judgement, she gently reminds me about herself, "I've been there too. I thought...said...did....the same thing. I used to be in their shoes." And I recall my own experience. I have also. I've been there. Certain. Sure. Blasting the world with The Exclusive Truth I was so convinced I had a firm handle upon. Who gets in, who is left out, I was positive I understood. 

Until I didn't anymore. 

Until the questions just became too loud, the assuredness too quiet, the list of hopeful exceptions for people I desperately wished entrance though they didn't fit the mold too long. 

To me, she is the finest example of what it means to remember from whence you've come. She reminds me to understand their point of view. No matter who they are. 
It's the kind of thing that makes me comfortable having my kids address their weakness, while allowing them to freely witness and express mine. 

The way I see it, there is no burying them, they will be with us until the end of our moments spent plodding this luxuriously privileged planet. We will labor to subdue our worst, to contain its effects on our beloveds. Try to hide and cover and squelch and reduce them as we may, the poorest, most base portions of ourselves serve to remind us of a glorious truth. We are all connected. To whatever extent in whatever context, we've all been there. Somewhere. If we are brave enough walk all the way into honesty, we've probably all been ashamed of the unthinkable we've actually mustered the audacity to think. We've likely all surprised ourselves in those moments when we've stared our darkest in the mirror. Most of us have probably startled our very own conscience with a terrible, tragic image that's popped into our mind we would like to think was scrubbed clean. 

To me, it's a wonderful, liberating reality of exquisite unity. We all need blessed pardon, love that covers a multitude. Because if we afford ourselves the grace and space to be real, the majority of us can freely admit, we've been there too. And that makes us a whole lot easier to be around. 

As far as I can tell, if I am able to be like my friend Jen and remember that used to be/could be/ might be me...I can more generously pardon you as you graciously excuse me.

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