I’ve been reflecting a bit on my weekend reunion with old friends. We all went to church together, before our church went down in flames. So it is always bittersweet to see each other at weddings and such occasions.
Especially when you’re (read I‘m) up front. For looking at everyone, I feel a sense of dread. Because I’m looking at poets, PhD’s, professional writers, missionaries, diplomats, and ministers– all highly placed and powerful people. So I wonder, “who am I to speak to these people?”. But I say something anyway, and they all say the stuff that everyone always says (“that was really good”, “I enjoyed your talk”, “it was good to hear you”). And I shrink away to find some food.
But later, when we get to talking, some of those obstacles seem to fade away. When I forget about their titles and positions and listen to their hearts– and they to mine– everything is different. The joy and the sadness and victory and struggle are all right there, and we can kind of lean around the elephant in the room and remember why we all fell in love with each other in the first place. Remember our lives– both together and apart– and our connection with each other.
It doesn’t explain or exclude the pain, but it does salve it a little. It doesn’t relieve the disappointment, but it does lighten it a bit. It doesn’t silence my questions, but it does dampen their shrill cries.