rec-on-cile: (verb) to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent
I'll get back to that in a moment - I promise, it's relevant to the next part.
Conversations are like clothes - there are some that you have that you wear all the time, every single day if you could. No matter how many times you've worn it or how tattered it may be, you will keep it and cherish is forever and ever. Amen.
Then there are some that sit on the shelf for years, rarely even glanced at, only to be taken down for special occasions - a wedding or funeral perhaps. You like them alright, you just don't need them on a regular basis.
And then, of course, there are the ones that old Aunt Gertrude gave you - you know the ones. The itchy, scratchy, stuffy, makes-you-uncomfortable-thinking-about-them sweaters hidden deep in your closet - that is, if you haven't offloaded them on some other poor soul already.
If I had to relate the conversation I am going to share to one of these three categories, it would definitely be the first one - and likely I would label this one: Chacos. Yes - near and dear to my heart to the point that it probably stinks.
In March of 2007 I had a conversation with a dear friend and former boss, Chris (of the other Chris and Beth) before committing to a new summer job that would require a lot of patience, prayer, and well, something I was/am not the best at - forgiveness and reconciliation. Without going in to great detail, it was very apparent that I would not be able to effectively do this job without first finding peace and understanding with someone who had hurt me greatly and I, them. Chris helped me to understand, in a way that only he can make me see, why this was so important, beyond just the job itself, but because Jesus teaches us that in forgiveness there is freedom and joy. And believe me friends, there were neither of these for miles in this present struggle.
As I mentioned, neither one of these things are my best attribute, and unlucky for me they go hand in hand. I had no idea how I was going to approach this, let alone resolve it. I knew it was pertinent for this job, but as I began to pray and ponder I realized that aside from the job, it was vital for the condition of my soul, the core of my being. Holding on to this ugly thing for three years had done nothing more than weigh me down, trip me up, distract me, break my spirit, make me angry and bitter, and it showed it's effects in more places than just this situation. Anger and bitterness are like the poison of life - both perfectly normal and acceptable to have, but not to hold onto. I had to let them go - which also meant relinquishing control. And if I am not good at forgiveness and reconciliation, I am even worse at losing control.
Thus began this season of my life - the season of finding harmony in situations where peace no longer dwelt. Giving reconciliation my power and control and trusting that God would heal and make new. I have learned over and over that reconciliation is a relationship - it is not one-sided, it is not conditional, it is not a one-time deal. For the past three years I have been on this journey of seeking peace and harmony, love and truth, restoration. The more I struggle, the more I prosper, it seems. It's way more than just letting go - it's embracing the freedom to love. Freedom to laugh. Freedom to start again.
I don't promise to make all things right or good. I don't assure that we will be the best of friends sharing in life's little pleasures together. I don't even promise to be good at being a friend. I don't intend to create drama. I don't even always desire to go back to the time when things were good.
What I can give is my word that I will do my best to find peace and harmony where it can't be found. This may mean that we agree to disagree - I go my way and you go yours. But know that I love you nonetheless. And I wish you well. If it is the moon you desire to have, I hope you hold it in your hand one day.
It's all about the simplicity - and life just isn't simple when there's all that baggage to lug around.
Oh, and the situation that spawned this season - it is healthy and well. I am thankful for this person in my life and the lessons I have learned in community with her.
I wear my Chacos everyday - just in case I might need them.