Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sweat & Tears

Here in San Juan, it's mostly just hot. I know it's not that hot - only 79F, and it'll be much hotter this summer in South Carolina than it is here right now. But the humidity is rough, and the sunshine is soaking the water and excess salt from my body. My pores will be minty fresh by the time I fly out Thursday afternoon, I'm sure.

I was re-reading the last couple of chapters of McLaren's The Last Word, And The Word After That on the flight down yesterday (we'll be doing a readthrough of the book starting April 1st on the NKOC Email List). Wow - there's so much depth in the characters and in their journeys, so much parallel with me and others I've listened to over the past few years. A character that appears on the fringe early on comes back into the picture at the end, going through his own inner turmoil, his own struggles. If you haven't been through a time of losing your faith and hoping what you gain will be worth the grieving and the loss, you won't follow as close to that plotline. But it worked for me, hitting a little too close to home maybe.

I might post some this week on what's eating me from this book and from the other things happening in life - what inner struggles I'm wading through right now. But this book reaffirms for me the need for conversation, non-threatening, encouraging and challenging. And I'm grateful for friends with whom to have these discussions. I know it's been hard on my wife, who's stuck by me through her own doubts; and I know it's been hard on friends we've loved and enjoyed life with for so long. I know it's hard to understand, because I've lived through the fight longer than they have and I know how painful it's been.

But there's such freedom, such liberation, such grace in what I'm seeing today. There's no going back - I can't unlearned what I've learned, and I can't re-learned what cost so much to lie down before.

"If you could see what I hear..."


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