Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bandaids and Bullet Holes

"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing … not healing, not curing … that is a friend who cares."--Henri Nouwen

A Tale of Two Friends:

So, I have this walking buddy. I'd like to call her NTJ. NTJ has become a good friend, albiet the fact that we disagree on most things (social policy, our varying degrees of lutheranism, politics, etc). However, we respect each other enough that we can discuss most things in a civil way. The one thing about NTJ that "bothers" me... for lack of a better word is her desire to make every situation positive. I don't mean that to sound cynical. I'll explain a little more.

I have another former walking buddy who moved up north and I'll call "the Kriz." The Kriz and I have spent lots of time talking and sharing. The thing that I love/hate most about the Kriz is her capacity to lay out the truth... most of the time in a loving way and her ability to not sugar coat a situation.

During the last week, I've talked with both NTJ and the Kriz about some things going on and their responses were very different. NTJ listened and said, "well... something pacifying... God will work it out... something something something" (that's not the EXACT thing she said). The Kriz listened and said, "Well... guess you'll have to wait and see, now suck it up." (that's not the EXACT thing she said either, but I'm paraphrasing).

I think that there is a lot of strength in a friendship that allows for someone to say to you, in truth and love that "it may not get better." I also think that as a culture, we're so focused on avoiding conflict and making things better right away and slapping band-aids on bullet holes that we forget that there's lessons to be learned in the waiting, the grieving, and the struggle that are better than any lessons that a quick fix can offer.

Here's to the sitting, the waiting and for the friends that sit and wait with you.


Moose-Tipping said...

So am I married to the Kriz? Because that whole "suck it up" thing sounds EXACTLY like something she'd say (and does say to me, on a quasi-regular basis).