An Adventure in Hearing God and Listening to Him Under Any Circumstance

I don’t know if it is appropriate to describe God as a “cool cat,” but I just did it in a conversation with a friend.

Last night was the big premiere of Nero Bloom: Private Eye a film directed by Jason Eberly and written by Nathan Hartman starring Philip Black, that I have been helping with all year.  Needless to say I was pretty darn excited to be there.  I had to wear a fancy dress and pretend to be a real person for a whole night, and I mean the whole night.

My guest for the evening was a very good friend who took me out to dinner before the premiere. We made quiet and strange conversation the whole car ride to the restaurant and then even at the restaurant.

I got to the point where I loosened up the tiniest bit when we got to the theater, but I had this huge balls of nerves sitting in my stomach because I was told I’d be meeting the man I’ve recently been referring to as my “Secret BFF,” a columnist for the local newspaper that I’ve been communicating with via the internets for the past few years. As more and more people arrived to the event I felt more and more uncomfortable in my fancy dress and my big curly hair and my borrowed, outrageously tall shoes.

The films began and went off without a hitch and were magnificently well-received.  The reception was, well, I’m sure it was wonderful for Jason and Nathan.

After spending some time at the reception my dear friend and I scurried off to Club Soda where we were to meet up with friends.  While we waited for our table for ten a drunk woman and her fella walked in the door. I stood there in my sparkling and bedazzled champagne colored dress, with my friend in his providencially cooridnating tie and suite, and the woman approaches us almost immediately upon entering saying, “Oh my God! You two are too cute! You’re perfect for each other! Your hair colors compliment each other perfectly!” There is a brief beat. “OH MY GOD DID YOU JUST GET MARRIED?!” I stifle a snicker. My friend simply replies, “Not yet.” “Oh my God are you getting married TOMORROW?!” “No, not tomorrow,” my friend says looking at me, “it’s what now? Seven months?” I can’t let the fun stop now. “Yep, seven months,” I say. “REALLY?!” The drunk woman shouts. The boy looks at the woman and then to me and says with a slight chuckle, “No. Not really.” “Oh good,” she says, “I was going to have to commit suicide,” and she trails off as she walks away.

We went to our table and talked to friends for a couple of hours, maybe three of them. As things were winding down the conversations between the dear friend and I grew more and more pressing, I suppose is the best word. I learned a good deal about him and his life, and I tried to, while simultaneously trying not to make it about me, give him that same courtesy.

There was no need for anything to end in the 40 minutes in a drive back to school so we went for a walk in Headwaters park and spent a little time with my good pals the Hamilton Women Statues. After a little while my dear friend started being loud and making loud noises, which were then replied to by someone from across the river. A small shouting match ensued.

We sat quietly conversing about life when a gang of five teenage boys rode up on bmx bikes. They asked us if we were the ones shouting; we told them we were, but we did hear the shouting. They were still pretty convinced it was us. Smart boys. We just sat there and talked to them for about twenty minutes. Well, my dear friend did most of the talking to them, but we mostly just let them talk.  A thirteen-year-old who thought he needed money and needed it badly enough to be spending his time (at 1:30 in the morning) stealing bikes so he could sell them. A seventeen-year-old who dropped out of school to take up a full time job so he could pay his mom’s rent. It was sad. These kids who knew so much about juvey. I wanted to give each of them a hug and tell them that even though I don’t know them I still love them, but I didn’t really know how to make that work without seeming weird. So I just listened. The boys finally left us, and we decided that it was best that we, too, left.

We drove back to Huntington and talked about some really cool things. Things I’d never found the courage or the opportunity to talk to anyone else about.  Things I’d never even admitted to myself, but there I was flatly telling my heart.

Then conversation that changed my heart.

I have a hard time with girls, particularly girls who seem to somehow step right into cool parts of my life just as they’re getting cool and take them from me.  It’s not an intentional thing, always. And in this particular case it most certainly was, mm is, not. But somehow this girl seems to just pop up everywhere.  Places I have to earn my invitation to she gets invited for no reason and with no one else knowing her. People who I work hard to get to know she knows within five seconds of meeting them, and has them falling in love with her. And I admit that if there’s one thing I am, it’s jealous of her for being so wonderful. The conversation in the car though pointed me to something I wasn’t prepared for.  This girl and I have more in common than I could have ever guessed, and while I didn’t judge this girl ever, which is startling for me, I did become instantly jealous of her.  That jealousy then got in the way of me ever wanting to let myself get to know her, which I think perhaps I should have, because now there’s something rather unique that I’d like to speak with her about.  At least to say, “Hey, you’re not alone.” Because knowing that I’m not alone was encouraging to me, at least in this particular case.

It’s interesting to me how God can use the people we want him to use the very least to give us hope and encouragement, or worse yet an ally of sorts. There’s still a big part of me that doesn’t want to talk to this girl about our situation, but the tiny part of me that says I should is prodding at me and bugging me.  It’s a strange subject to bring up, but I feel that I should bring it up. I don’t know that it would do me any good to talk to her about it, but I want to at least give her the chance to talk to someone else who is in the same boat. If that’s what she wants, but there’s no harm in at least offering the opportunity.

When I want to listen to God the least that seems to be when he doesn’t want to shut up. And when I want to like someone the least that seems to be when God decides it’s a great idea to use that person in my life. He’s sneaky that one.

A journey in rage and controlling my anger

rage: noun Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin rabia, from Latin rabies rage, madness, from rabere to be mad; akin to Sanskrit rabhas violence  Date: 14th century. 1) a fit of violent and uncontrolled anger 2) violent action 3) an intense feeling; passion 4) my present emotional state

I sent a detailed explanation of my situation to Dr. Friesen, basically pleading with him to let me walk in graduation. Today I received an e-mail in return that, first of all, was not from him, and second, was essentially a long, formal, impersonal, why-should-we-care-to-be-empathetic, “Hell no.”  So I took it upon myself to reply with an email that said not one thing except “super,” which they likely won’t catch as sarcasm.

Now I have to deal with what the hell I’m supposed to do next. I don’t want to go to graduation. I don’t want to go to Forester night. I don’t want to be here at all. I don’t want to talk to people. I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t want to eat.

I want to take those stupid graduation announcements the school made me spend $65 on and throw them all over Friesen’s and the Registrar’s office. I want to demand that $65 back. I want to pack up everything and never come back. I want to curl into bed and never come out.

So now I have to decide what to do with the depression I have that I can almost directly attribute to this university and the anger that I can directly attribute to a very small group of authorities of this university.  The depression can’t really be changed at least not by blind determination to better myself.

But my anger that’s a different story. Because love is not easily angered and I’m beyond angry. I’m beyond pissed. So I already know my reaction is not that of a godly woman.  Do I have a right to be upset? Hell yes I do. Do I have a right to be angry? No. This is not a righteous anger. It is selfish; it is fury that I should not be harboring, but I can’t seem to let it go. Nor do I particularly want to let it go. In Ephesians we’re told not to sin in our anger and not to let the sun go down while we are still angry. So am I supposed to walk over to the registrar and make ammends with them? Tell them I think they’re asshats and it’s bullshit, but I deserve it.

Because I’m not mad that I can’t walk. I mean that sucks, but it’ s just a dumb thing anyway. I’m mad that this school has done such a fantastic job for the last four years making me feel like shit. Reminding me that I’m not good enough to be someone they consider a fine example of HU student. I’m not on a sports team, so I’m fat. I never did a summer tour of Godspell, so I’m untalented. I’m not a ministry or bible and religion major, so I’m going to hell. I’m not on JMC, so I hate the community. I’m not on SAB, so I hate my fellow students. I’m not on Senate, so I hate the school.  I’m an English major who dabbles in theatre and film and writing. I have friends in all different areas of the campus. I go to events that interest me or if I have the time or means. I volunteer where I feel led. I auditioned for Godspell all three times, so maybe I am untalented.  I don’t play sports because I’m too competitive.  But I’m not someone the school would want on any sort of poster, because I’m actually a college student.

I don’t know what I’m going to do next or how I’m going to get past my selfishness, but that’s my battle and that’s my next adveture.