There’s a certain kind of desire to push time and space closer together.
I met a buddy for drinks the other night. We share a past that goes back to early high school, and in our conversations I noticed multiple desires. One is that we were back in high school, talking about life and God and our futures while sitting around my parents’ pond. The other is that we had then the knowledge and wisdom and insight that the last fifteen years has given us. It’s incredible to think about the ways that the very little we have learned in the meantime would influence our then fears and concerns and misguided pieties.
But there is an other kind of realism that suggests life doesn’t actually work this way. We can’t know then what we know now, and we can’t go back to then with what we have learned by now. Times then are easier in our imaginations because we hadn’t yet learned all there was to fear.
And when we were in those easier times, they felt just as impossible as our right now feels.
But every now and then, we end up with people that make us feel like we have pushed time and space together. Sometimes they are people who have known us a long time, and other times they are people who have immediately known us. Sometimes it is earned, and other times it is simply landed in. Either way, it feels as if our knowing and our learning and our loving happened to have occurred at the same time as our actual lives, and somehow in the same space, and we notice that we are suddenly with people who are fully with us.
People who have stayed around with us when we have been our most challenging
Our most insecure
Our most needy
Our most unimaginative
Our most impossible
And then we notice that they have, indeed, lasted with us beyond our insecurities, our neediness, and our lack of imagination, our impossibleness … and they remained.
They call out to us the truth of who we are even when we fail to see it.
The truth of our courage. Our long-suffering. Our imagination. Our possibilities.
And it is in those moments that we feel an overwhelming desire to say, more than anything else we have felt the need to say in a very long time, “Thank you.”
And we learn in those moments more about the character of a God who is always accepting when we are willing to tell the truth about who we are, who we aren’t, and who we hope to be.
So to those people, “Thank you.”
Pine Tree Dr.