Wednesday, November 11, 2009

today, part 2

My emotional high eventually flipped around completely.

By the end of the conference day, I was really tired. After dinner, everybody split up into two groups. Most of the people watched Ice Age. The rest decided to talk about things. I listened for a while, but I found I didn't have anything to contribute to the conversation. Basically, I wasn't adding anything to anybody's life anywhere.
When there is no space for you, do you squeeze in... or do you make your own space?
At the beginning of tour, I often felt lonely. I would try to talk to people, but I could never think of anything to talk about. I would listen in on conversations that everybody seemed to enjoy... but simply didn't interest me. There was nobody there for me. I would spend a lot of time outside.

On one particular day (this was right after Summer Camp), everybody had been having a spiffy time. We had been out for the evening and on the ride home, everybody was talking to each other and nobody was talking to me. I tried to jump in on their conversations or start my own... both of which failed.

When we got back to the Moon Manor, I was quite lonely and rather miserable. Wendell began to play the piano in the Red Room. All my tenseness and stress began to melt away. I lay on the carpet there in the Red Room, letting my misery sink into the floor. I looked up at the ceiling. It was pretty boring: it closed off the space in the house and kept all the air conditioning inside, like most ceilings do. You could look up so far and then your eyes hit the ceiling. There was a limit on the "sky" up there. I was contained in a building.

I kept listening to the piano and thinking. Soon the ceiling took on a new meaning. It was as if I was trapped in a house. This house was my selfishness. I was trapped into thinking just about me and who was paying attention to me.

Just then, as I continued to look at the ceiling, I noticed something. In the ceiling over the kitchen area is a skylight. That's right a window in the sky. An escape! All at once, everything clicked. I was locked inside my house of selfishness, but love left a window in the skies. I don't have to think about myself. If I put others first and seek to love them, it doesn't matter if people love or care about me... or if they need me.
(written September 9, 2009)
Coming on tour, there was one thing I wanted more than anything else. I wanted to understand; understand people, understand love, understand God. I wanted that understanding passionately. God is faithful and I am learning and understanding more and more.

Today, I began to understand what tour is about: it’s about people. I already knew that we would be teaching the same classes and giving the same speeches over and over again. The main difference between conferences would be the people we interact with.

In the middle of July, I was dropped into a situation called prep week, where I was told to get to know, work with, and love 10 people who I barely knew. (Thankfully, I already knew one person pretty well! <3)

Sometimes, I give up on loving others. People don’t pay attention to me and so I decide people aren’t going fulfill me. I retreat into myself. I give up on making friends. I figure I have friends at home. These people on tour don’t need me and so I make sure I don’t need them either. I become lonely. Oh, so lonely.

I imagine Jesus sitting next to me. He is my friend. He is always there. But sitting next to him is convicting. He tells me I need to love others and stop thinking about my poor little self.

How am I supposed to love people who are already happy and involved in conversations? Is there nobody for me to love? How can I love a group? Loving one person at a time is considerably easier than loving several at once.

So, I sit there by myself. Or I stand there in the wind. Alone. But so happy. I have God. I don’t need anything else… except to obey: love!
Tonight I chose to make my own space. I didn't want to figure out how to love others, so I hung out with God on the drive way under the cloudy sky. I wasn't needed by anybody. I was pretty sure nobody would miss me. I totally get the idea of loving others who need love, but I mean, some times people aren't needing love. They are just chill.

So, I skipped out onto the drive way. It was really rather pretty. I was tired and decided to lie down on the concrete. I looked at the clouds and told God all about how nobody needed me and how I didn't know how to love people. I thanked Him for being amazing, because He is. I thanked Him that He cared about me and loved me even though I often think I don't need Him. It was pretty much a conversation.

I was outside and rather happy to be outside. I didn't need anything about that evening to change, but it did. The skies suddenly cleared and I could see the stars. God shoved the clouds to the side so the bright stars would show. Just for me. Because He loved me. I want to love like that! People may not need me... but I can still love them and make their lives a tiny bit better. Love always can. Love never fails.
I came inside, ready to love the people around me. Everybody was still involved in conversations or movie-watching. That was rough. Then Janie pulled me into her group who was listening to Tim play the piano. Everything inside of me... all my inner peace... started to crack. Janie was loving me by including me. I didn't want to be loved. I was the one supposed to be doing the loving. I didn't want to need others. My inner self was rebelling at this unfortunate turn of events. How was I supposed to feel good about myself if I couldn't love anybody?

I must remain a monster until I learn to love and receive love.
-The Beast, from Beauty and the Beast

Maybe sometimes love is not all about giving out love. Maybe receiving love is essential to understanding how to love one another. I am still thinking about it all.

This I do know: It is for freedom that Christ has set me free!

We love because he first loved us.
-1 John 4: 19

today, part 1

Today has been a very ...interesting... day. It has also been quite an abnormal day for me.

It started out in a very ordinary manner. The schedules behaved admirably and the printers decided they liked me. We made it through GECCO and the Opening Program uneventfully.

But then came my first free time block of the day! Each of us interns have little mail boxes we bring to each conference. We write each other happy little notes and put them in each others mail boxes. I decided to write everybody on the team a note. I grabbed a pack of sticky notes and my special pen and began to write.

I wrote my first sticky note. That made me happy. I enjoyed thinking about why I liked the awesome people I get to hang out with every single day. I wrote another. As I folded it into thirds and wrote the person's name on it, I started to giggle. I kept writing more sticky notes and giggling more. Hannah, Robin, and Eric were all in the staff room during this and can attest to the truthfulness of my narrative. I finished notes for the whole team. By this time, I am really really happy. I am wearing a pair of Tim's sunglasses and dancing around the room. I realized Justin didn't have a note, so I wrote one to him too. Finally, I put them all in their mail boxes.

The class block that had been going on ended and some of the interns came in to the staff room. That made me giggle some more. Tim made a face at me and I giggled and pointed to the mail boxes. He proceeded to read his note and I continued to laugh.

Of course, after my free time block, I had a class. And of course, it would be a Coaches' class. So I decided I needed to calm down. I stood up straight against the wall (think the Orotun-duh activity) and attempted to breathe naturally. I failed and giggled some more.

Determined to succeed in regaining my sanity, I walked out of the staff room and had a marvelous class.

However, that was just the beginning to my day...
{and hope does not put us to shame}