I'm functioning on EST pretty well - getting to bed by 10 or 11, usually rolling out about 8. Last night, I hit the sack a little earlier & the next thing I knew, I awoke to the sounds of falling rain. No thunder that I could hear, just the regular rhythm of rain on the pavement outside... if I wasn't on the ground floor (out of 3 levels) perhaps I'd be talking about rain on the roof, which is one of my favorite sounds... & it was 9:45 in the a.m.
A part of my brain kicked in, knowing that 9:45 is LATE & there must be SOMETHING that needs to happen, something I need to do, a place to go... as the sleepy haze left, I once again realized that today is Slow Saturday - & day with Nothing on the agenda, the day of my week where I intentionally scheduled Nothing. I was roused from my thought by the beeping of the coffee pot finishing its brew cycle. I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the coffee pot letting me know it is done... only thing cooler would be if it said, "Hey. Finished!"
Reading a lot, with lots of interruptions for thinking. A conversation I had with Chuck yesterday has been circling my brain - perhaps not so much in what was said in the conversation, but in the WHERE the conversation led to in my thoughts...
What keeps coming up is Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
I'm thinking on friendship - the kind of true friendship Proverbs addresses - the kind of friend that will stick with you through thick & thin, in good & bad - who wants the best for you - who sticks up for you if others run you down when you're not around - who can genuinely be happy for you when something good happens to you, & who grieves with you in your pain.
And mostly, I'm thinking about how a friend, a good, true friend - will speak the truth in love - & be willing to say something that is hard to hear - to act as a 'mirror' - reflecting the truth of the matter, what they see & observe when so many others would cover over, ignore, &/or turn their head away.
I think in principle we want that kind of friend, but in reality, its easier to respond poorly to them - to deny, discount, &/or reject what they're saying - to go on the defensive & pour out the excuses why the things they are mentioning are Not My Fault... maybe more often, we go on the offensive, & take shots at them - getting on a High Horse & lobbing verbal grenades at the one who would Dare to say such things to us. Even if its just them reflecting what they see.
I think that it takes a lot of humility to be able to receive correction - & trust, that the person speaking really does love me, & isn't just pointing out faults to belittle me &/or to make themselves 'bigger.' That they want the best for me. That the 'wounds' they've given are more truthful & more important to me being able to grow & develop into the person I want to be than all the deceptive, pandering, & disingenuous 'kisses' of an enemy...
On more than 1 occasion, I've been on the receiving end of rebuke, correction, & reflection - & every time, it was tough to hear - but in retrospect, I prefer going through each of those difficult talks, & having to really, really work through stuff, than I would have wanted them to say nothing, or worse, tell me that what they saw wasn't So Bad, esp. compared to Some.
It seems to me that the alternative of self-justification, self-righteousness, & pride aren't worth it.
I want to have real friends, & also to BE a real friend. Especially when its tough.
Finished my LOTR Extended Version marathon. Still cry at when Sam & Frodo are alone on the rock, surrounded by liquid hot Mag-Ma. Maybe it's the Frodo/Sam friendship that has been a part of provoking these musings as well. Hmm.