Sitting with a cup of hot coffee I’m pondering how best to cherish people. As I look among the richest of my treasures I find you, the people with whom I have walked through this journey of life.
Relationships with people are not meant in any way to be categorized. Categoros is that ugly word that is similar to ‘division’ and we don’t need any more of that! And yet, in our nature, we have this deep desire to know that we are special to someone else. We long to be best friends and our ears strain to hear, “You are my best friend.”
Sometimes when I struggle I’ll look at how Jesus handled things when He was here among us. Even though He was surrounded by people during His ministry He never articulated anything about who it was He felt closest to. We draw conclusions by what we see in Scripture but He never reveals it directly. At the same time you never got the sense that Jesus withheld parts of who He was, in a manner of self-protection or categorization. When people were with Him, He was incredibly transparent. He told them how he was going to die … I wonder, have you shared that with your nearest and dearest?
When I was in my teens I made a commitment with the Lord to be transparent with people so long as He would use it for His purposes. In other words I didn’t mind people seeing my decision processes or my struggles. In the midst of my sharing my life with you, I’m trusting the Lord will encounter you and show You something special about Himself. He’s like that. He loves opportunities to show off His love and to uncoil mysteries about His ways. Over the years that commitment has become something I’d not planned for in that the Lord has given me lots of rich and deep friendships. I cherish every single one. Some of those people have passed on, and some are with me today.
People handle intimacy differently, believe it or not. Some people appreciate information about events, “What happened?” Other people are wired for, “How did you feel about what happened?” And a few others are safe enough to ask, “Who are you and who do you want to be?”
I’ve got to jet. Work awaits. But, “Who are you and who do you want to be?”
You’ve heard the expression, to be at loose ends. I’m probably making this up but let’s suppose the true origin of the expression is from weavers as they reached the end of the warp yarns. They would find themselves at loose ends. Weaving creates a powerful word picture for that idiom because it is makes sense that there’s a call for action on the part of the weaver. He will need to bind the end of the fabric to finish it off, so that the loose ends are not able to fray.
When I look at the tapestry of my life, it feels like there are many loose ends. I’m casting about trying to understand the relationship of one yarn to another. Some strands are coming to an end while others are vibrant and powerfully influencing the direction of my life. Yet a tapestry is not created around a single thread or yarn by itself. It requires the presence and purpose of all of the other yarns with it.
I keep staring at the short yarns that seem to have ended too soon, and others that seem unwieldy and never-ending. Some threads I need and others I’m ready to toss out like a bad date. Through it all there is the conundrum of the now and the not yet.
Have you ever felt the tension between letting go of one thing and trying so hard to be into the next thing, and it remains elusive to you? I know I’ve quoted this bit before, but Elizabeth Elliot speaks of the need to “… carry within one’s self the unanswered question.” That is so apt for this present season of my life. To carry within seems to denote a yieldedness to be burdened. There is also a letting go of expectation. No more insistence, “It has to go my way, or I won’t play.” As elementary as that sounds, it is most often where I find myself. Thankfully yielding doesn’t entail blindly thrusting ourselves into a black hole. We entrust ourselves to the King.
Remember earlier I mentioned that the weaver needs to bind the loose ends of a tapestry? In a way I picture myself binding myself, my loose ends and my life to my King. Somehow I’m going to choose to let Him lead, and yield myself to that vulnerable and soul-searching process.