for those who don't want to just wait it out

like the song says this is a blog for someone who wants to say something (anything) and who's happy to wait and see what time will bring...

Friday, August 10, 2007

"We didn't know him; the truth is we're a group of people who knew each other a long time ago..."

This is a line from a scene in one of my favourite movies "Big Chill". I think it's a brilliant, brilliant script (and acting, not to mention killer soundtrack): the way that it captures what happens to friendships when you've been separated from the people who have known all the ins and outs of your life - only to come back together under really crappy circumstances. There is something amazingly special about being with friends who have known you - really known you - for almost a lifetime (so as you can imagine, I'm looking forward to the fact that I get to hang out with 3 of them tomorrow night!). It's not that they have to know all of your baggage, but they know some, they still love you and they don't pretend to know more than they do.

After having lunch with a friend today, I've realised that I'm increasingly frustrated, and maybe even a little hurt, with people thinking that they know me based on a preconceived notion that they have. For better or worse, although relatively open with people, I'm not someone who wears my past on my sleeve for all to view. It's not healthy, helpful or necessary - and yet I recognise the tension that I am the one holding things back and thus not giving people the chance to 'know me'.

But what is it about being known? Why do we crave being known and understood - only to put barriers up in the way of certain people really knowing us because of the fear of what they will do with that knowledge? But maybe I'm still caught up in my thoughts on vulnerability from a couple of weeks ago.

I think it's also on my mind because I've been working on a sermon that I'll be giving at the Credo public meeting next week. It's Luke 9:18-37 - Jesus asking of Peter "who do you say I am?". Here's my question; why does He care? Is it that He wants to be known for more than what other people see or presume about Him (ie, those who follow Him into remote areas to get healed) or does He ask the question to propel those who would seek Him into doing something about what they discover?

Here's "A poem from Prison" - by Bonhoeffer

Who am I? They often tell me I would step from my cell's confinement calmly, cheerfully, firmly, like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me I would talk to my warden freely and friendly and clearly, as though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me I would bear the days of misfortune equably, smilingly, proudly, like one accustomed to win.
Am I then really all that which other men tell of, or am I only what I know of myself, restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage, struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat, yearning for colours, for flowers, for the voices of birds, thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness, trembling with anger at despotisms and petty humiliation, tossing in expectation of great events, powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance, weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making, faint and ready to say farewell to it all.
Who am I? This or the other? Am I one person today, and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once?
A hypocrite before others, and before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling? Or is something within me still like a beaten army, fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine. Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine.


  • At 8:54 am, Blogger sam said…

    i preached on that last night. hehe. i think the immediate context gives you an idea of why the quetion is asked... all the best with your prep.

  • At 12:12 pm, Blogger jodi said…

    Yeah - I'm going with a sandwich structure ie, vs 18-20 and 28-36 being bread with 21-27 being the meat in between: His identity and His glory affect our reactions and why we would align our identity/cross bearing, with Him... or something like that.
    I think I'll post the structure and a link to the podcast later - would appreciate your feedback!

  • At 3:33 pm, Blogger sam said…

    cool... look forward to it


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