I haven’t written much in the last couple of months, on the blog or otherwise. I haven’t added any new files to my manuscript folder, or pulled out my journal and a pen, or even jotted out sporadic sentences on indexes cards. I’m not sure what there is to say that hasn’t already been said, on the blog or otherwise.
The situations that have kicked me into this place of no words haven’t changed. Some people are still fired up and hurting and saying some pretty venomous things; some people are finding healing and hope and God in the midst of the mess. Most of us are oscillating between the two, even still.
To feel and think and experience that many things at once makes life complicated, and when my internal life gets complicated, so does my external one. This means that I’m off kilter in too many relationships that matter, with my family and my best friends and with God. It means that I’ve lost track of all that’s good and right and holy in myself, and in the world, and in the people that I love. It means that everything is running through a filter in my head of “hard” and “anxiety-producing.”
And so, this means that it’s time to regroup, refocus, and, I think, get back to basics.
“We need just have some fun,” my friend thought aloud as rolled his son’s plastic ball with the picture of the train on it to me. “When was the last time any of us did anything that was just about hanging out together?”
I rolled the ball back to him and tried to come up with an answer. “I don’t know, Oaf. It’s been awhile.”
He smiled, jumped up from the floor, walked toward the kitchen, and tossed the ball right at my head. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. We need to watch a bad movie or take the kayak out or, I don’t know, just do something fun.”
Fun… right, I forgot about that. I forgot about what an essential part of healthy relationships fun is.
Good friends show up, and they listen, and they pray, and they carry. They sit in the messes, and they extend grace to missteps. They hold hands, and cry, and shoulder the hard stuff. They encourage, and admonish, and challenge you to be a better version of yourself. And when this all works together to create something deep and intimate, it really is something special.
But, if all that’s there is deep and heavy and sitting in the messes, then something in that specialness is lost. Because we can’t lose sight of how important it was to Jesus that people enjoy the favor of one another (Acts 2:47). God’s grace is manifest when people are enjoying each other, that what’s the “favor” piece is all about, and it is as critical a piece of the early church as it is today. The Message says of that verse, of Christian people having fun together especially, “People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added to those that were being saved.”
So it seems to me, then, that this is my charge, for as many times as I’ve read and studied Acts, to have some fun with my friends again, to honor Jesus by enjoying each other again, to give the people around us something they like seeing again.
I want to take a breath from all that’s hard and heavy and anxiety-producing not to avoid it, but because it’s been in the forefront for far too long and it’s robbing all of us of healthy relationships with each other.
Because it’s time to regroup, and refocus, and get back to basics. And it’s definitely time to have some fun.