Tag Archives: friendship

just because

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every now and then
not because we earned it
or even because we asked for it
but just because
God knows what we need
when we wake up on Monday mornings,
we are given people
who make our minds wider
who make our hearts broader
who make our joys richer
who make our questions braver
and for those people
we give thanks on Monday mornings
when the real threat
is not to delve into the
wide-minded
broad-hearted
rich-joyed
brave-questioned
but is to choose not to delve into these things.
good friends
near or far
make us people of another kingdom
and every now and then
not because we earned it
or even because we asked for it
but just because God knows what we need
we wake up on Monday mornings
giving thanks for these people.
Amen
djordan
Pine Tree Dr.

 

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it’s the quiet conversations

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it’s the quiet conversations
the late night
emails, texts, calls, replies

it’s the quiet conversations
the early morning
coffees, meetings, book clubs, questions

it’s the quite conversations
the midday
confessions, drop-ins, lunches

where we realize that we are so close
to those we pretend to be so different from
and in finding out that we are wrestling
ultimately
with the same
fears
hopes
insecurities
questions
wonders
anxieties
sonnets

and in realizing that we are so close
we immediately feel so far
from being so all alone
and we give thanks.

djordan
Pine Tree Dr.

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in times when…

in-times-when

In times when
we are as afraid of
ourselves as we are what
others may throw at us

In times when
we come face to face with
the disparity between who we are
and who we hope to be
In times when
we don’t know what it means
to do justice and
to love mercy and
to walk humbly
we give you thanks
for friends
who listen well
laugh often
love deeply
accept all
push greatly
and remain at all times
no matter what.
These friends are signs of kingdom come
and when we see them
and when we talk to them
and when we laugh with them
and when we weep for them
and when we pray with them
and when we party with them
we give you thanks
and pray more desperately for
thy kingdom come
and your will be done
here as it is there.
Amen.

djordan
Pine Tree Dr.

 

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worth more than a lazy saturday

more-than-lazy-saturdays

I won’t lie. To all my friends with children, jobs that carry them into the weekend, life that carries them over the edge…I wont lie. I usually sleep in on Saturdays. If I’m in town, which is becoming less and less, I don’t think twice about the thrill of sleeping in till nine or ten on Saturday mornings, waking up then only because the dogs begin to insist on it. And I wont lie that most Saturday mornings it’s the perfect thing for me to do.

Be jealous, if you wish.

Today, however, is worth more jealousy than sleeping-in-Saturdays.

This morning at eight I’m ringing the doorbell to meet for a few hours and discuss the art of counseling, to be given encouragement in y wise steps and wisdom in my ignorant steps. And coffee. To be given coffee at eight in the morning since I usually sleep in on Saturday mornings. For two and a half hours beginning at eight in the morning there is discussion over what it means to listen well, to practice well, to watch well and to craft well. Counseling is, as I’m learning, more the art of listening for what the person speaking has known all along but can’t hear himself say, can’t hear herself know. until someone shines it back on them, both sides becoming changed. This morning at eight in the morning, cup of coffee soon to be in hand, I’m ringing the doorbell ready to discuss the art and privilege of therapy.

This morning at ten-thirty, or a few minutes late because the first conversation went long…but we knew that it would…I find myself walking through another door to another meeting. I find myself, new cup of coffee in hand sitting around a huge kitchen table with people I know and people I don’t know. I find myself sitting with people who share, above all, a heart not for names or labels or agendas but a heart for the kingdom and all it involves. I find myself sitting, a little late for a ten-thirty meeting, around a table with people who have won my respect and people who quickly earned it talking big and thinking hard and dreaming wide about what it means for business and food and health and poverty and community to get smushed together in one hopeful spot. Passing the brownies, the hope of a community sitting around tables together having a party as we were this morning. This morning a few minutes after ten-thirty I find myself in the middle of a moment I wont soon forget because a little piece of kingdom come happened around that table this morning while brownies were being passed.

And at twelve forty-five I find myself sitting across the booth from a good friend for late lunch. Laughter and hats and glasses and jeans because it’s Saturday morning after all. The questions thrown out over salads and salmon about what it might mean to follow Jesus beyond harmful clichés or ceramic crosses and into the streets and the cubicles and the living rooms where vengeance is king and jealousy rages and a feeling like maybe we’re a little behind pushes fast and furious into our hearts. Passing the crackers and stacking the napkins, questions thrown out about where we went wrong or where we went right and how we might learn to tell the difference between the two, how we might assume there’s a difference at all. Back to our cars and back to our homes for errands and work and a little time for play, because it’s Saturday afternoon of course.

And then in the evening, a last minute text. Dinner around the table, prepared as we chat. Children run wildly with giggles and stories and hopeful surprises of what it mean to see their eyes and takes on the world. Sitting down in those familiar seats we find ourselves between laughter and tears because so much is known and so much has been seen. Together. There’s no catching up so only the present is told: where we are, what we wonder and what we all hope. Sweats and pullovers, secrets unhidden, because after all it’s a lazy Saturday evening dinner.

And so most Saturdays I don’t think twice, when I can, to sleep late and give thanks that I have the weekend. But today, in the hustle and the few minutes late, I give thanks that I’m surrounded by people pushing well and pushing hard and pushing often into the thin space where we’ve been taught to pray and taught what it means for his kingdom to come and his will to be done on this dusty earth now as it is in his heaven.

djordan
Pine Tree

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to those people, and you know who you are

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to those people
and you know who you are
who offer homes and spaces
of safety and honesty and freedom

to those people
who make it okay to stumble out in the morning
with hair twisted in all the wrong ways
eyes stuck together
and thoughts jumbled up
still to say, “good morning.”

to those people
who have encouraged me when
I’ve been at my best
and put up with me when
I’ve been at my worst
and who’ve allowed me to be
both my best and worst
most of the times…

to those people
who have become the safe, honest and free places
to make it clear who I am not yet
and also who I desperately hope to be
until all is said and done
you will offer the clearest notion
of what it means to be loved well.

so to those people
and you know who you are
who offer homes and spaces of
safety and honesty and freedom,

thank you.

djordan
Pine Tree Dr.

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an unspeakable honor

there is an unspeakable honor
buried deep and wide
in the days
and weeks
and months
and years
of doing life together with other people

time is marked much by
the kind of laughter that makes stomach muscles hurt
the kind of tears that make the tips of our noses hurt
the kind of stress that makes the bottoms of our guts hurt
and the kind of joy that makes everything worth waiting it out

and so we give thanks
while doing life together
when the sharp and truthful moments roll around
that shine like beacons in the water
like roadsigns on the journey
like answers to questions
like human touch to grief
like peace to chaos
like silence to silence
like rightness to wrongness

and it’s in those moments
that we pause
and give thanks to God Almighty
that in the ways of the kingdom
there are things worth sticking around for
and sticking around for and with kingdom friends
is and will always be
an unspeakable honor

so we mark those sharp and truthful moments in our calendars
for those other days where we are less sure
what it is that we are sticking around for at all.

God remind us.

djordan
Pine Tree Dr.

 

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the last of the twenties

It is not uncommon to think we know exactly who matters and exactly who will shape the course of our future, or join us as it shapes. At the ripe age of 16, there were several folks who would be those people. They filled the shop for a surprise party that I was too dumb to figure out. Those people still remain friends, and fewer remain close. At 18, we headed to Memphis in a limo and made predictions about the future; we were right on with most of them. And now, at 29, we will head again to Memphis for the last birthday of the twenties. All that we did know, and all that we didn’t know, wrapped up like a gift for the opening.

I remember my high school English teacher, Mrs. Kee telling us once in class that we would never talk to the people we were friends with in high school after we graduated. She was right in most things, crazy in many, but wrong about that. Yet knowing how she worked, and how crazy she was, maybe that was a dare, a challenge, a kind of psychological game to make us make it work.

And now, looking at the last of the twenties, it has worked. The picture above was taken laying down on Mom and Dad’s foyer rug on mine and Brooke’s 21st birthday. We will hop in a limo later this week to celebrate the 29th.

I suspect I can speak for all of us to say it’s a privilege to celebrate with old friends.

The privilege is likely greater, though, that the circle has grown. When I was laying down on the carpet back then, I would never have imagined the role those folks would play in my life, but I would have expected it. What I never would have expected, however, is the role that new friends who have entered the circle would play––how they would become crucial pieces in the story of who I am and who I am becoming.

There would have been no way to know.

Even 8 years ago, two years ago, I would not have guessed what people who crash into the circle would bring, how they would change my mind, broaden my understanding, invigorate my imagination, and strengthen my hope in the already-not yet kingdom come on earth as in heaven. From West Texas to South Africa; from a desert meal in Israel to a client in a trailer in Lexington; from the front porch on Pine Tree to the valleys of Napa; from a group of those wrestling with grief to a classroom of those disciplining hope; from cheese and toast around the kitchen counter to hors’ doeuvres on white tablecloths under candlelight, from a rocking chair in Nicaragua to a hammock on Pleasant Plains; from a limo ride over ten years ago to a limo ride today, I am now more sure than ever:

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
+ Psalm 27:13

djordan
Pine Tree

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in one place

I wish all the people I loved the most
Could gather in one place
And know each other and love each other well

…I wish we could all lay beneath the stars
with nothing to do and stories to tell.

+ Sara Groves, Every Minute 

We’ve met over dinner or over skype, caught up over email or over lunch, and talked over drinks or over text. What has glared at me through the rest of the details this week are some of the people I love the most. They are the people who have seen me ugly cry, and the people who have seen me laugh until I start crying. They are the people who have called me out in ways that bring me more into who I have been made to be, and the people who have reminded me that I am worth something when that very notion has been challenged.

I do love the notion that at some point it will be possible for those people, from all of the different circles and communities and countries and eras to gather in one place and get to know each other. I think about how I have been shaped by those I want to imitate, and those I want to be nothing like. It would be a dream come true for those I hope to imitate to be able to meet each other and share dinner with each other.

Perhaps the possibility of the incredible folks over the years who have challenged me to challenge the status quo and seek first the kingdom, perhaps if those people could know each other and love each other well.

I think that very meeting would be, in itself, a glimpse of what is promised as a part of life in the kingdom.

Cheers to that.

djordan
Pine Tree Dr.

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holy indeed

The time is starting to fall between my fingers now during these last days of a perfect holiday in Cape Town. The speed has been a perfect kind of slow. The days have been a subtle kind of long. But now, the air feels thin, like I’m doing my best to gulp in as much as I possibly can.

As always, senses heighten in those kinds of times. They did this afternoon.

Walking with a good friend in the hot sun on a perfect Cape Town afternoon, I was reminded of the holy space we are given to be in and share the whole of life with other people. There are constantly sad stories of what churches––people––try to do to force community among each other, aiming for it like a bull’s eye. I’ve felt people try so hard to demand community that the very last drops of life are squeezed out, and all goes dry.

But walking through that field today, with this friend and these thoughts, a quote from Michael Frost came to mind:

“Aiming for community is a bit like aiming for happiness. It’s not a goal in itself. We find happiness as an incedental by-product of pursuing love, justice, hospitality, and generosity. When you aim for happiness, you are bound to miss it. Likewise with community. It’s not our goal. It emerges as a by-product of pursuing something else.”

I took a deep breath on that walk home today, and gave thanks when realizing that I was, in fact, breathing in the fumes of holy community. The gift of walking with another who is trusted, and who trusts. Who is willing to brave dreams and nightmares simultaneously. Who allows me to be complex, and who bears complexity. Walking together, as followers of Christ, standing in that gap trying our hardest to keep a tight hold of a world going not well with one hand, and the coming of the kingdom with the other.

I was walking in true community this afternoon, and its thickness and richness is holy indeed; I’m beyond thankful for this time. In joining God’s people toward kingdom lives of love, justice, hospitality and generosity, we notice all of a sudden, on afternoon walks with a good friends in the hot sun on perfect Cape Town afternoons, that we have indeed landed in and come face to face with true community.

Holy indeed.

djordan
Cape Town

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