Head First: Letter to a friend...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Letter to a friend...

Y'know, when I think about the last couple years, I think the most painful part about the whole experience is that of being misunderstood by people who I thought would "get it." Yeah, the slander, the misrepresentations of my remarks, they angered me plenty. But they were just diversions perpetrated by guys who needed to cover their self-serving asses and cling to control, their idea of strength. I guess they didn't have much choice, other than own up to character flaws they could not even perceive in themselves. What's the old saying? Something about self-righteousness being like body odor... everyone knows who has it except the one who has it. I'd laugh, but then I'd wonder how badly I smell. Heh.

Thing is, I thought you would understand. I really thought you would see how those sinister circumstances propelled me to a place where the questions I've always asked could be explored. It wasn't comfortable--still isn't--but there's little denying that a great deal of good has come from it. The farther I get from it, the more I see it. My friendships with the kids are more meaningful, our bond more substantive because of the voluntary nature of our fellowship. It's not a job anymore. I'm favored to have them around.

But when I hear the people for whom I care deeply reduce the road I travel to the result of a petty argument, it pains me thoroughly. The fight was probably inevitable. If not about this, then something else. Two people cannot believe such vastly different things so dogmatically without coming to blows, eventually. I've had to repent of my dogmatism. It was hurtful, and I admitted as much, but compromise wasn't in the cards. But to hear it all reduced to, "Well, you're both just stubborn," really cuts to the quick. I like to think I have more integrity than that. I thought you thought so, too. But you talk to me (and about me) as if this is a phase I'm going through. Well, I can't say that it's not. But you seem so sure that it is.

And, now that the cast of this drama is poised to change, you seem to think that we can put everything back to normal, as if my difficulty will be resolved by swapping out one insecure autocrat for another. I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but it's not just the man that's broken. The system that a man devised is broken, too. I just don't think it's enough, and that's why I have little confidence that putting a fresh coat of paint on Egypt will make it profitable to return there. It's still bondage, just under new management.

I'm not angry anymore. A number of people have observed that I'm far less stressed and a great deal more peaceful out here in the sunshine and fresh air. You've said it, too. I do miss seeing people regularly, and church offered the venue for that contact, even if it was sometimes fleeting. But sometimes an encouraging word only takes a second to offer, and I do miss the easy opportunity to offer it. Now, it just takes a little more effort. Fancy that.

I'm not sure what I hoped to accomplish by saying these things to you. I still love you, my friend. That won't change. But maybe that's why it hurts when you talk about the "new thing" that I'm into, as if it's some sort of fad. Would it kill you to consider that there might be some merit to the idea that we don't have to fit all of life into a box, or that the certainty we cling to might just be holding closed the door to deeper truths? Sure, it can be scary. That's why God ordained that we do it together. That's why the enemy (whoever that is) prefers that we go it alone. Here, take my hand. Come and see.


Zeke said...

Dude, I have a phone number.

All kidding aside, Godspeed with this one. I was feeling your letter.

redneck said...

Dorsey we got your back!

sandytrif said...

I in a very very small way feel your pain. We to, is such a small way, have been under the mircoscope of leaving and upon hearing of the new guy coming to town, have been approached to return. The hollow sounding "we miss you", but like you said there is no calls or contact. Only the chance meetings or now Hope helping w/VBS-she has been getting it all week, she can tell the sincere from the not so sincere-such wisdom in a 16 year old-she sometimes blows my mind.
"now that the cast of this drama is poised to change, you seem to think that we can put everything back to normal, as if my difficulty will be resolved by swapping out one insecure autocrat for another"
That change is not going to change much at all. I am also sorry about how some have reduced these last years to a "petty argument"and "just a phase" well those who feel that way really need to get to really know Jesus.
I know that organized "church" is not something you feel you want right now, but the message we heard on Sunday just about blew me out of the water. I just sat there almost in tears thinking what a waste of my spiritual life the last umpteen years has been. My eyes have been so open to the so much more that the Lord has to offer for us. How the CROSS should be what I run to and that no amount of what I do can ever repay or remove the stain on my life, but only that old cross and the man who so humbly took my sins away. How simple, yet so complex at the same time.
I have been walking to music by RAZE and there is one song that gets me every time-(just the chorus, but the entire song just gets me)Should have me should have been me should have been my hands hammered to the cross that day
Thank you I pray that you gave up your life for free when it should have been me
Shouldn't it be me who died in total seperation
Shouldn't it be me who took the blame eternally
Shouldn't it be me who walked alone into darkness
Shouldn't it be me who died so why do I go free.

I keep you daily in my prayers my brother and friend.
Love ya
PS been listening to Casting Crowns--she should have sung the next tract!!!

ninjanun said...

I hear ya bro. Why, just last night we ran into another "friend" who used to go to the same church as us. She left under different circumstances, before we even did, but she was still very much into the Church Game. Went to a new church, invited us to come, and talked on and on about how "awesome, and on-fire" the new pastor was.

Because, y'know, church is ALL about how "awesome" the pastor is! :p

Made my toes curl up a bit, but as we just saw each other in passing, I just let her ramble, and then changed the subject (no need to hold me back!) :)

Kenny-Po said...

that's powerful... and sobering at the same time. It makes me curious as to who you're speaking to specifically...

Regardless, I'm sure people will always look at us like we're weird/juvenile/stubborn/mislead for not "playing church" by the rules, but if it leads you to God more... and leads you to love more freely... then wow, I think that's amazing. I've seen lotsa love from you over the years. Glad to have a brother like you in my life. Keep seeking Him, never forgetting to love scandalously along the way.

ps- i like having to work harder to show love anyway... it just means more

SocietyVs said...

I admire the letter - I did this recently with a letter to a former pastor of mine to 'bury the hatchet' and thank him for the time we spent together (it was also empowering in a strange way.

A lot of us are in the same position as you with regards to examining this faith (this includes me). A lot of old dogamtisms I have given up on and have let myself just become/to just be - the rules system was not working (was actually having an adverse effect on me after I learned the church-game - ie: bitterness).

Paul has an interesting saying 'I die daily' - maybe these thinsg need to happen as far as growth is concerned for our faith. I think we walked as children in this faith for quite a while but now we are grown up in it - maybe God wants us to work beside Him (fellow-workesr with Christ). It's an idea I am pondering lately - this idea of maturity and what that might look like - and as children that are grown - the parent is happy if we work beside Him?

JimmyBob said...

I feel misunderstood quite a bit. People half listen and are often on a different wave length from me. I'm just not sure anymore if it's more my fault or theirs for the lack of understanding. I partly feel responsible for having entered into dialogue and gotten nowhere, when I should have realized in the first place that they weren't ever gonna "get it." It could have saved a whole lot of grief for both of us. You can't express yourself to people who have agendas and aren't kindred spirits. It will only return to bite you in the butt.

Hanging out with true friends and teens is the best part of Christianity for me.

Jason said...

Yeah...I could use the same comments for myself. Whether it's right or wrong, it still reflects reality. It's just one step at a time climbing out of the hole.

Dennis said...


I'm sorry to hear that someone whom you regard as your friend hasn't really understood or felt what you went through or believe in.
Perhaps they will understand at some point when it really affects them,
such revelations sometimes come when least expected.
Did you ever, in the back of your mind, think while you got along great with this friend that they didn't have quite the same ethics, standards, or depth as you?
I think that they will understand at some point and let you know.

Jason said...

Looking back again, shoot...there's plenty of "merit to the idea that we don't have to fit all of life into a box." If we did, we'd be a collectively sad bunch of boring boxes (more than we currently are).