today, i found myself chuckling alongside my Best Friend. we were talking about how i was scared and nervous that people actually might look up to me or might hold me in high regard or might want to know and care about what i think. not belittling others by any means, but more so via my own insecurities.
but then i remember saying mid-smile, “i’m just little old me, though. i just happened to have met You one day and had my life changed forever. i’m just someone who happens to be loved by you, and who loves you back”.
then we just spent some time, together, just lingering in the marvel and joy of our little moment.
My friends are all like characters in stories. People I remember running with, crying with, adventuring with, scuffing up my sneakers with, getting into trouble with, pushing you to be better with, taking the knocks of life with. I remember them with fondness and their mistakes and flaws with vagueness. Always there, being amazing like they already are and having them be so much more than the words that people try to use to describe them. Because it’s so easy to fall in platonic love with those characters in the story books and tv shows. They seem so fantastical and you feel like by the turn of the last page or the fade in of the final shot, you have met someone you could never even try to forget. Someone who’s impacted you because you feel like everything that happened in the story to them happened to you too. Because you read, but you don’t really just read. You watch, but you don’t really ever just watch. You run away from monsters just as he did, you defy the odds just as she did, you did everything just as they did because you feel like you’re just as much a part of the story as that character is. And the crazy thing is that you are. Stories are important and characters are real.
Because that’s the thing. “Of course it’s happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it’s not real?” Living… it’s like our projections and reality constantly mixing and leaking into each other, not knowing which is which and what you’re talking about most of the time - and that’s okay. Good, in fact!
And we say that they’re really just fictional characters we wish we real. But to me, they all live on in the friends we’re given. Isn’t it better that way? Don’t you see that? We all get to have the real thing plus more. They are the stuff of legend. Friends you can hug, scuff marks you can wash away, pain you can erase with obnoxiously loud laughter, and so much more. The Doctor once said, “My friends have always been the best of me,” and so they are. It’s just up to us to go out and seize those adventures we so long to have with the best people we know. Our stories are important.
This broke me. Because I remember, I wrote this… not because this was true. But rather, in eager faint hope, that one day, it might even in the slightest come true. And so it is beginning…. I wish to look at them all one day and know… they are truly the best of me.
finding myself in pocket universes that lure me in gently… then ever so rapidly with the gravitation pull they have on my heart and mind… i swirl around with the stars in the could-be’s and what-if’s and never-can-be’s….
Developing a “tough skin” isn’t the answer. Jesus didn’t have a “tough skin”. He had a strong heart, the strongest heart.
I can’t accept that all of the things that were to hurt Jesus’ heart just simply deflected off of Him. Spiritual pain….it’s such a deep, empty, yet so full kind of a pain. Be it loneliness, disappointment, or what have you… it really hurts.
But in all things, He humbled Himself and served because He LOVED. And He had a strong heart, the strongest heart, as to incessantly and unrelentingly LOVE those He was called to love.
I really felt like for the longest time, either I had to be a pile of mush or a rough skinned shark. I had no choice. But now, I’m starting to see that the training of our spirit really is a training of the now-flesh heart. Through the tears (x2) and breaks of exercising my salvation, comes healing, and then finally, comes strength.
A strong heart doesn’t allow you to simply be pulped into a bigger, sloppier mess by the pains; a strong heart doesn’t allow you to simply “not care” about the pain, as “tough skinned” people would do - no. A strong heart allows you to feel what is meant to be felt from the pain in a heart of flesh, but is trained to persevere so that we may LOVE as He loved.