A muddy Darryl returning from visiting churches in Kampot, a two hour ride on a dirt bike, each way.
I wish I could deal with all conflict through email. Wouldn't that just be easier?
"Dear Darryl, I'm sorry I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Sorry I complained about getting up and criminalized you for blissfully sleeping the early morning hours while I slaved about with the children. Sorry for holding a grudge. I love you." Send.
There. Conflict resolved. I wish.
I do think it is a glorious way to solve problems. S0 impersonal, so guilt-free. So clean.
I'm the same way about good-byes. Please don't make me get in touch with my emotions, just drop me off at the airport and let's pretend it's like any other day. Don't sum up what we mean to each other in a few short sentences and sad embrace. Send me an email. I can take it better that way. I want to take things in at my pace, mulling over words, putting my thoughts together carefully before saying it and meaning it, allowing myself to keep my thoughts and emotions private, let out as I want them.
But life isn't like that. Life is personal, humanity is up close highs and lows, it does demand personal involvement, interaction and accountability.
As relationships deepen with those around me, the more people open up about themselves. Sometimes it's hard things--sin, struggles, painful scars. It's easier to shield myself, I don't want to feel their pain, I'd rather believe the facade on the outside. I'd rather live in an oblivious bubble pretending all around me is ok.
We are called to be the body, caring for one another, helping each other in weaknesses, encouraging one another in the Lord as brothers and sisters in Christ. The Master Designer does know us better than we do ourselves, this is His design. It goes against my grain, against my self-contained (i.e. safe) mentality. Why did He design the Church to function as a body?
I've been thinking of this a lot as we've walked through hard things with others. It would be easier to keep my hands clean, distance myself, and not invest in those around me. What I'm learning is it does require a lot from one's self to truly act as a member of the body, but it is a way that we are forged together with other imperfect sinners and forged closer to our perfect Savior.
Soul lessons abound. It is hard and yet reassuring to realize that I don't have the answers, my self-reliance disappears and I lean completely upon Him. My words become trivial and His Word central. The realizations of my inadequacies and inability to solve things with my own (lack of) wisdom show me Christ's complete sufficiency. Standing beside others gives me a glimpse of the Lord's hand at work. It's not that the Lord needs us to help one another or that we have so much to offer, we don't. It's a blessing He's given to us for our own benefit.
The Master Designer knows we need fellowship, direct involvement, and personal humanity with other believers. Not only does acting as the body open us up to pouring out of ourselves and but it also gives us more exhilarating glimpses of truth and leads to roads we never imagined before. New friendships are forged, lessons learned, humility deepened, love increased, and understanding awakened.
Just think how lonely and stunted I'd be if I could have it my way with keepin' my hands clean.