"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just about perfect

The other night I spent some time just hanging out with a friend. Walking away from our time, I felt deeply peaceful and happy. I was content and full. I guess I felt satisfied really. This was a sweet feeling.

As I assessed my feelings, and talked them over with my husband, I realized that this particular friendship was "just about perfect". Let me explain.

My personality can tend toward being extreme; or, at the least, intense. It isn't uncommon for people to comment about this intensity and to even express to me that they have "avoided" me in an attempt to avoid the intensity of my presence. This has been hard for me to hear at times... and yet, I know it is true. In the past I would have explained this as ... Simply put, my intolerance of "fluff" conversation. Generally speaking, I feel awkward with social, light conversation and I feel exhausted by small-talk. It tires me and I don't like it. When I go to a party, for example, and walk away having had no "real" heart conversation, it feels like a major waste of time and I feel disconnected and unsettled.

Like I said, my personality is a bit extreme. And, I guess, there are those who don't particularly like me for it...

But, last night, I walked away from "a party" energized and happy. And, last night, this friend and I talked about a myriad of "fluff" subjects. We talked recipes and Christmas shopping. We talked color schemes and fluff novels and jewellery. This didn't bother me in the least. ...I entirely enjoyed it, in fact.

Maybe it isn't that I don't like fluff conversation after all...

Now, I think it is more than that simple explanation that I used to give.

This friendship is not just fluff. And, it is not just intense. It is BOTH fluff AND intense... intermixed and intermingled beautifully. And, I love that. With this friend, I can be confessing sin one moment and talking recipes the next. She can be sharing her frustrations in one moment and we can be laughing about the weather or our kids behavior the next. We seem to dance in and out of light and weighty without a moment hesitation.

I was reading today in "God in the Yard" by L.L. Barkat. She asks her reader to consider how we would define contemplation and prayer... as 1). Focus and Purpose or 2). Wandering and Rambling...

I realized that I see my relationship with God as BOTH/AND... just like this friendship. I would define contemplation and prayer as both wandering and walking together and also focused and purposeful. Light and Weighty. Intense and Lazy. Purposeful and Passive.

...this perspective, I think, is new for me. And, it is very freeing.

This afternoon I spent some time with God. And, I felt happy and satisfied. We talked trees and birds. We talked divorce and deep scars of pain. We talked about upcoming events and household chores... and we talked worry and concern. Like a perfect friendship, I am realizing that I can speak with God about sin and deep, dark heart issues and the next moment be asking Him to help me figure out what to make for dinner. I can talk with Him about the weather and the wars ... and we can dance in and out of this.

And, this is sweet. And, I feel content and full.
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