Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I really wish I could think of a good title for this post.

I love to write. Call me selfish, but most of what I write is for me. If I can get my thoughts on paper (or computer screen as the case may be), I can either organize them and hopefully make some sense of it all or eliminate them, thus freeing my mind from the trivial task of analyzing over nothingness. (A true analytical will appreciate that last line. The rest of you are free to roll your eyes).

All that to say: this post is not for me. It is for you, my reader; an audience which I have come to believe is rapidly diminishing. As much as that stabs at my pride, I thank you, the faithful few, who remain.

While people accuse me of being quiet, of having nothing to say, of being….horror of all horrors…amiable! I am merely observing. These are a few of my observations. I have removed all names because, well—it might be you.

People-observing ranks rather high on my list of preferred entertainments. It doesn’t get old. People are unpredictable (and predictable). People are different (and the same). The frustration with cliques is that their members only associate with their own kind. The fascination with diversity then is isolated not so much to those who observe the differences, but those who can appreciate them.

There are numbers of opposing parallels that all people posses which are simply too self-explanatory for me to expound on. For example, there is the introvert and the extrovert, the serious and the giddy, the perfectionist and the haphazardist. The list goes on. But a more intriguing pair is the profounder and the shallower. Please understand that none of these descriptions are meant to question anyone's intelligence, depth, sincerity, or motive. They are merely my observations, and thus observed through my biased perspective.

Profounders may be identified by a facial expression, but are usually identified when they speak. Few people say exactly what they mean to say, exactly when they mean to say it, exactly in the way they would say it. If they did, conversation would be dull. Instead, we have a lovely contrast of communicators. There are the few that don’t care what they say as long as they are noted for saying it. There are those who say only what everyone wants them to say. There are others who say exactly what everyone does not want them to say, which oddly is precisely what they do want in a round about way. (Yes, I know that nothing can be precise and round about at the same time. That is why I put them both in the same sentence). There are those who know they are profound and flaunt it, those who wish they were profound and try to force it, those who do not know they are profound but accidentally do it, and those who know they are profound but try to hide it in order that others might think they are more profound by hiding how profound they profoundly are.

Shallowers have a depth all their own. They are a misunderstood people, accused of being void of original thought, of being unable to think for themselves. Though many of them are highly intelligent (and many Profounders for that matter are not), they are often cast aside as intellectually unworthy. Profounders will speak of the trivial in an intellectual way. Shallowers speak of the trivial as trivially as it actually is. But Shallowers have a perspective that is unclouded by abstract logic. They have a solid understanding of what is real and what actually matters.

By the way, Shallowers are scared to death of Profounders. And though they would never call it fear, Profounders do not know the first thing to do with the Shallowers. You will seldom see these two groups mingle. But should you find yourself in the dininghall sitting at a table with a large group of Shallowers (if you are a Profounder) or Profounders (if you are a Shallower), you will need to know the difference so that you can properly appreciate the opposite group. Profounder comunication is based on content. WHAT is said is important. You can't blank out and still be part of the conversation. Shallower communication is based on the manner in which the content is expressed. It's not WHAT is said, but HOW it is said. I am convinced that a Shallower conversation can take place entirely without words. Grunts combined with expression are sufficient to have the entire table rolling with laughter.

So, may you all break out of your comfortable worlds and get to know the "others." You might be surprised what you find.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It feels good to breathe

I have this tendency when I'm talking to people to try to put myself in their shoes and view the world through their eyes. It's good in some ways, I suppose. Helps me understand people a little better. Helps me change perspectives. But, it's kind draining when all my friends are going through rough stuff. Seriously, all of them. Is it just me or has this been a hard year all around? And all the stuff they're dealing with is different. I don't mind, really. In fact I love it. I love being around. I love that people know they can share their heart with me. I like that they trust me. And to be honest, when I've tried to be supportive and encourage, I find that I end up being the one encouraged by the very person I was seeking to minister to.

Anyway, I've walked through the past few weeks (especially the last few days) knowing their hurt, feeling their pain, and yes, holding my breath. May I say? It feels good to breathe again.

I used to work as a camp director in San Francisco. Some of the best summers of my life. Kid's are the same all over the place. Kids like to hold their breath when they go through a tunnel. My kids were a little different because they liked to hold their breath when they went over bridges as well. None of them knew why they did it. They just did. I had a few who swore they could hold their breath the entire time crossing over Golden Gate Bridge, which by the way, in traffic, is definately impossible, without traffic, is still quite impossible. I had van drivers who would actually slow down on a bridge just for the fun of watching them turn purple.

Anyway, why did they do it? We weren't under water or driving through poisonous polution. Honestly, the van didn't smell THAT bad. I thought about it last week as I was holding my breath, waiting for the verdict, knowing that what God would do would be good, but not knowing by waht means He would work good, not knowing their response to the outcome, not knowing what my role would be as far as rejoicing with the rejoicer or weeping with the weeper, but wanting to direct towards truth, praying for wisdom. And all the while God was gently saying: Breathe in, breath out. Relax, I have everything under control.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I know I haven’t written in forever, and I know that this doesn't count because it's not my own. But i found this quote by Spurgeon, and I like it.

"Weeping is the eloquence of sorrow. It is an unstammering orator, needing no interpreter, but understood of all. Is it not sweet to believe that our tears are understood even when words fail! Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers, and of weeping as a constant dropping of importunate intercession which will wear its way right surely into the very heart of mercy, despite stony difficulties which obstruct the way."