I am slowly expanding my circle of Orthodox friends. It’s a slow process and especially difficult for me. I’m so conditioned to move away from people, sit in a corner and watch from a distance. I’m challenged in this now though, I feel I have some imaginary deadline to meet. I feel that I don’t have the luxury of time.
Perhaps it’s not a bad thing to move out of my normal, introverted, comfort zone. Perhaps it’s a very good thing I feel this pressure to reach out and enter in. It may yet be another extension of maturity on my part, at least I hope that’s what it is. I’ve made this agreement with God, you see…well, it might be more accurate to say that I’ve finally agreed to a proposition He’s been making for years. I prayed for 20 years for mentors and each time someone came across my path I found all kinds of reasons NOT to engage, NOT to listen, NOT to submit. It’s the hard core punk rocker in me rising up, proclaiming my individuality and my distaste for authority. To be honest I still really like that hard core punk rocker.
The truth is that God has been faithful through those 20 years. He did His part. It was me who was unfaithful, it was me who turned away the people He brought to cross my path. These are people I am certain were brought to instruct and guide me and yet I turned them away.
So, in that spirit I’m taking a new tact. I’m reaching out, awkwardly and as I’m able. I’m asking for help more than I ever have in the past. I’m listening more, I hope. I’m taking advice, sometimes at least. I am fairly certain there will be pain in this process. There is always pain in relationship. It’s unavoidable, this I know. I know, too, that God is faithful and what is required of me is to move forward knowing that whatever my injury He is able to offer healing.
It doesn’t make engagement safe because nothing is truly safe. It does make it possible however…I need this.