Back on the radar screen…or something like that. We are now officially in Texas…with car and driver licenses, a Vet and Groomer [for Faith and Caleb not for us], and 90% of the boxes unpacked. In all that a sharp awareness note: Have put all my fishing gear in part of the garage…almost a cubicle…went through it and guilt wouldn’t stay at arm’s length. I had no earthly idea how MANY dry flies and nymphs I had for fly-fishing. Assuaged that guilt by sending 90% of them to a fishing guide buddy. Phew.
We are in a new neighborhood, gracious and welcoming. They have an impressive neighbor-to-neighbor link. Plus, have the park pass for the grandchildren and when rainy [yep it’s happened big-time three times since April 10] X-Box for the grandchildren.
But. Make that, double-but. It’s tempting, maybe even seductive, to get connected with the moving details. Through that, however, I received something this morning that inspired me. Have permission to share. From a dear, dear friend. The friend spoke last week and wrote me today. What makes it so relevant, since we’ve returned here, beautiful friends are going through personal “stuff” you’d not wish on anyone, whether or not you liked them. With two different people, whom I’ve not seen for 3 years, I couldn’t finish the inquiry, “Great to see you! How are…” before they burst into tears. Life is “shambling on them.”
So I share. My friend is not a pastor…but, down deep my friend’s anything but shallow. He is wise in his reflections and urging that we don’t deny our personal pain…and the need to share with others. That’s not rhetoric, friends. That’s necessity.
See what I received today from a great friend who does not believe vulnerability is about weakness; it’s about reality; here goes:
“I did have a good talk last week with my business colleagues, most of whom are executive leadership. It hit me, perhaps more direct and deeper than when I’ve shared previously. Made clear: there is a lot of pain being carried around inside of people. I think the only way it can be reduced is to have someone else care about it. God will take it but I think God created us for each other not so much for ourselves. I connected with my pain and by doing so allowed a few others to do the same. One gentleman told me that he had similar childhood experiences but wasn’t ready to go there.
Two women came to me with tears in their eyes. I hugged them both. They weren’t crying for my pain or maybe they were a little … it was their pain. That’s the way it works I think. Hard for us to connect with other people’s pain if we haven’t connected with our own.
The way I ended the talk was an analogy about rooms in a house. Of course the biggest one being the room for improvement! The scariest room being the basement. Yet maybe it’s the most important since it is foundational to everything above.
I offered, ‘So I pulled out my flashlight and headed down to the basement. The stairs were creaky, the smell is off, the lighting poor, it wasn’t comfortable, … it’s strewn with boxes and artifacts of things from the past. I started opening the boxes thinking I knew what was inside. I knew there was some pain in those boxes … but not that bad … after all tough times make tough people… then I noticed a smalI door under the stairs. I opened the door… and was startled when I saw a little boy … he was in the fetal position, in the dark, lonely and crying … right where I had left him many years ago… it was me.’”