[EDIT: I suppose the most baffling thing to me is how something so simple as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can really jack up communication between two people. This is the point of the following…]
This is sort of my own response to the previous post about the fact that I so often turn to others for counsel and wisdom as opposed to going straight to God with questions/issues. While I do think that others are an important medium through which God speaks to us… well it’s just not the same as dealing with something in prayer and study. Not to mention when the people we turn to are not of the same mindset as believers. Case. In. Point.
last night, the guy from the summer texted me. Entirely out of the blue. I actually picked up my phone thinking it would be something from Abby or Danielle because I had just written both of them recently. Instead, I picked up the phone and did a double take at the red light on Parker and Pine. Nick. What? He asked how I was, and had I found a new job? What? So I went to the normal person: Brett. Why is he texting me? He’s dating someone else. I haven’t heard from him in a month. Why didn’t he write me yesterday with the same cliche message I got from 27.3 other people about being thankful for our friendship? That would have made more sense: then it could have been a mistake amidst the mass texting fiasco. Then it could have been casual, meaningless, and easily disregarded. But this? This was deliberate. This was specific. And it pissed. me. off. Who are you to tell me you’re dating someone else, not contact me for a month and then randomly write me as though we’ve been chatting and things are normal? Who do you think you are? (ah, the simple ability to sin in our anger)
I did eventually text him back several hours later. I was honest. Life is good. I’m not really looking for a job. I’m enjoying my time off. But that’s not really the point of this. The discussion I had with Brett is more the subject. Brett got snippy. He asked if I wanted to talk with Nick. I said that I didn’t think about it much. (which is a lie: I don’t want to talk with him, but I pray for him. I can’t say this tho, becuase then that will lead to the fact that I also pray for Brett and that’s not a conversation we are going to have.) So he said it was up to me, “but someday, you should probably start respecting yourself a little more or you’ll have to put up with th is kind of [crap] your whole life.” And then, he started lecturing me.
It was sweet, in an offhanded way, because I know it’s due to this bizarre notion he has to be protective over me. But it was so wrong. I told him it’s not so easy as just taking care of myself. There are a million other things to consider. I want Nick to know Jesus. There were days while we dated when he was so close. I can remember strolling through his parent’s neighbourhood after a hodge podge dinner at their place. We talked about Hell and God and mercy and fear and surrender and why we can’t do it on our own. He was nodding his head, he was squeezing my hand and then letting go and gesturing and getting excited as we rounded the corner towards the high school. I remember laying on the ground just outside the ball park while waiting for him to use the nasty port-a-potty. I stared at the black oblivion above me, dotted with gleaming rays of truth and I prayed. Show him. Show him.
So looking out for me isn’t going to work. There has to be this line, this tight rope that we walk. I don’t mind being the net that catches people. Brett snapped that I am always being walked on. I didn’t retort, I just said calmly that it’s not a big deal. Jesus was walked on too. I have mixed feelings about Nick texting me. But at the same time, I’d rather err on the side of grace and just put up with his shenanigans. I mean, like I said yesterday, Jesus is putting up with loads of junk from me. And if everything I do is supposed to reflect Him then sticking up for me (as though I am number one) just isn’t going to be the best way to do that.
Brett, I can imagine him shaking his head when he read that text, said that he gets I want to stand for Jesus. But I should worry about myself first a little bit, and let God worry about everyone else. It’s like in the airplane: you put your oxygen mask on first then help those around you. If you’re passing out, you aren’t much good to the kid who can’t reach the inflatable bag swinging from the ceiling. But if I’m so busy with my oxygen mask, with my comfort, with my sense of well being, then I’m worried about me. And honestly, worrying about me hasn’t done much for me thus far.
I don’t remember how the conversation ended. I think Brett gave up. Said he just worries about me being too much of a good little Christian (at which I scoffed in my bed, because I’m not a very good person). But I remember thinking that this is why I cannot rely on Brett. Because he doesn’t understand. It’s not for lack of intelligence. He gets that i want to put others before myself even though I usually fail miserably. He knows that after everything Jesus is the biggest, most important part of my life. I don’t know who I am without Him. But Brett, on a very deep heart level, is never going to understand. He can’t understand because he doesn’t know. He’s as lost as Nick, just in a different way. He doesn’t see that Jesus hasn’t promised an easy road. He doesn’t see that Nick’s salvation is more important than my discomfort over a bizarrely unexpected text. He was trying to advise me, but it wasn’t from the right perspective. It’s not as though it wasn’t good counsel, it just wasn’t the right counsel.
Not to mention: He alternatively stuck up for Nick texting an “ex” despite having a current girlfriend and swtiched to telling me if I would just stop letting people dump on me, then this wouldn’t happen. (aka: he couldn’t decide whose fault this really was. Which just says he didn’t know what to say, because I baffle him too deeply).)
He said I don’t respect myself enough. I don’t think that’s the case. I think I’m just worried that having dated a non-Christian, any lack of grace on my part will reflect a lack of grace, mercy and forgiveness on the part of the Father. And that will never draw Nick to the one who can bind up his wounds and heal the broken heart.
[but how can you explain that to a man who does not know the Father himself?]