06 August 2009

New Friendships

I remember, when James and I were separated, going to a small group for the first time at my church. Everyone was so happy and they all interacted with each other like old friends. They wanted to get to know me and asked me normal "who are you" kind of questions.

It was so exhausting that I never went back. How do you answer the most basic of questions at a time like that? Do you lie? Do you whitewash and then clarify later? I just avoided it altogether. I remember thinking, I just don't have the energy to make new relationships. Read part of this interview from one of the last issues of "Discipleship Journal" ever published. (Unfortunately, I can't find the article online to link to, but it's an interview of Alan Andrews called "Where Would Jesus Be?" from the March/April 2009 issue.)

ALAN: "Vulnerable" can cover a lot of ground. A vulnerable person is incapable of helping himself... Throughout the gospels, if you want to find Jesus, look for the vulnerable of any sort, and there He is among them.

You're making us wonder, Who are the vulnerable people in our churches?

One of the most vulnerable people in any church is a divorced woman with children. She has very little money, so she can't give a lot to the church. She's usually too busy with the load of parenting and working to be able to volunteer in the church. So she becomes this invisible person. Often the widowed are ignored too. This will sound harsh, but there is little return from investing in them; that's the way we sometimes think.

It sounds like we can fail to notice those who most need our attention.

ALAN:That's right. We tend to be attracted to big things, powerful things. But God loves and delights in little things, vulnerable things. That's what's on His heart. And He takes those little, insignificant things and makes them strong. God starts with what is small, what is broken, and transforms it into something strong."

This interview really ripped me... I was so blessed that someone out there understood how I felt. I also felt terrible; I don't want to be the needy and vulnerable. I wanted to show everyone in ministry the article; I wanted to hide it away and get involved against all odds.

Oh! It's so hard to go to events and studies when you don't have childcare- It's so hard to be a good parent when you never get away- It's so hard to pry the hands of your children off of you and drive away when they already are even more vulnerable than you are- It's so hard to make friendships when you are so needy and have so much drama.

I wasn't a widow- I wasn't divorced- I didn't fit any category so neatly. I was mourning my marriage but I wasn't a widow. I was alone with my kids but wasn't divorced. It was such a no-man's-land. I desperately wanted to yell "Somebody serve me! Somebody see my need!" but of course I was too proud to make such a statement- I didn't even have a definite need- I just needed to feel some love when I was so empty. For me, I guess it turned out ok, because I felt God's presence and sustaining power so well, but what if it hadn't been that way? And even with His presence, it still sucked to have few human displays of love.


wayne's blog said...

Always love you girl...wish I could always be there for you...know that I am in my heart. I'm proud of you for allowing the Lord to carry you through the toughest of times. Miss you and love you dearly.