Tuesday, April 29, 2008

strangers and not strangers

This morning two ladies rang my doorbell. I answered the door still in my bathrobe (YES, I was awake, but I tend to check my email and do some reading before I get dressed). They were Jehovah's Witnesses and they started right out of the gate by reading some scripture passage to me in French and asking my opinion about it, which was really a pretty thinly veiled attempt to direct the conversation to their particular version of the last days. There were really nice, polite ladies, but I had no desire to talk to them in a prolonged sort of way. My just-got-out-of-bed hair and disheveled bathrobe must have given them a clue that it was not an optimum time to have a conversation with me, so they departing leaving me with two French copies of the Watchtower which I set on my filing cabinet next to the Book of Mormon.

I sat down to finish my reading and wondered if I should have continued the dialogue, but I really had not sensed that it was something I needed to pursue at that moment. I do like to engage with the people that come across my path, but I cannot let their agenda supersede what God is doing in my life at the moment. So the question always is...what is mine to do today and what is not?
After finishing some reading, I returned to my church correspondence and found one email from a stranger in England with whom I started corresponding yesterday regarding a visit to Montreal. The direct and probing questions in her original email had intrigued me, so I had let my fingers and thoughts fly and responded with frankness about who we were and what we wanted to do in Montreal and how it didn't always look the way one expected it to look. This morning I found a warm and lengthy response from her, a true glimpse into the person she is and the place in which she finds herself (a recent failure which just made my soul sag with empathy). My reading today had included a chapter in a book which talked about embracing failure and mistakes, so I wrote a short quote from it, made a silly joke, added some additional information I thought she might find interesting, and hoped I was not being too presumptuous or intrusive in how I was relating to her. I can do that sometimes, you know, presume everyone at the other end of cyberspace is my new best friend.
She responded immediately with ALL CAPS and lots of exclamations points!!!!!!! There is a connecting going on beyond mere similar interests and beliefs. She challenges me to be honest and real. Her hunger and humility move me. Let me never be afraid to respond in a sincere and open manner to those that God points me to. Where is his finger pointing now?
Oh, look, a bug in my backyard.

No comments: