Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Communication is hard. It takes great effort, much time, deep surrender and enormous risk.

Why we allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking communication is easy or comes naturally to us or is something that the other person should be doing better to us, I'll never understand.

What I do understand is that I am filled up with good intentions and great desire and passionate feelings and I mess it up huge all the time.

I like to be extraordinarily deep with people in my life.

That in itself is not a huge problem, but the way I get there is. I jump in full force almost instantly and for most of the world it's like trying to use a straw to focus the water of a fire hose. I demand too much of those in my most intimate circles.

20 odd years of messing this up and I haven't yet found the balance or the right way. Perhaps I never will.

I suppose I could sit back and just say this is the way I'm wired and try to make the best of it or find a better excuse or more powerful justification, but that seems wrong and fake and trite.

I don't want to be that. I want to be real, alive, honest, authentic.

And, in a way, that's what we crave from each other. Open, honest relationships. We want the other to care deeply. Hopefully we are big enough to want to care deeply in return.

But it's complicated. We have to care first. We have to be the one to risk all the risks and love wholly without expectation of anything but disaster. We have to be the ones to take the first timid steps.

Oddly enough though, speaking for myself, even when I expect disaster, when it happens it upends me in a shocking way. Even when it's disaster of my own making.

There are little things in our lives we allow to become mountains and then we get stuck wandering around and around the mountain, never hearing God saying turn to the north. (Duet 2:2-3)

Maybe as people we are simply so needy, so broken, that even though we have a great God filling our holes and even though we are people willingly seeking God to fill those holes we are still simply so broken that we greedily need more.

Where is that balance at? If I simply say, okay, I'm a good Christian gal and I'll just wait on God, trust in God and know that one day all the little bits will all be cleaned up, I'm sort of being a martyr. At least in my own mind.

See, I fully accept and even embrace my human-ness. My human-ness does not believe that every moment of every day should be this hard.

Don't misunderstand. I've read my Bible and I'm working my way through again, so I understand fully that this life of being a Jesus follower is going to be nothing short of a hard one. I know that. I live that enough. I also believe though, that I was made to laugh and love and have joy and moments of relaxation and peace. I believe that I was created uniquely so that certain things delight me in a way that delights no one else.

So then, here's the flip side. The rub, if you will, of being the good Christian girl, is that it leaves me in the space where I am keeping people at a distance, more than I would like to, because I don't want to be too dependant, too involved, too anything with anyone. I don't want a person in my life to take a God place.

When I let, or maybe it's drag, a person into one of the deep places of me, I wonder if I've failed.

Today, even my words are failing me.