Have you ever had a fight with someone, and you’re REALLY REALLY mad at them, but you also miss them, a little, maybe, but it’s UP TO THEM to make the first conciliatory move because dammit they were WRONG and no matter how many years or how much chocolate you’ve shared, a line was crossed and they had better start APOLOGIZING or you will just have to continue pretending that it’s not ripping your heart to shreds to not be able to talk to them?
Um, except for this current situation I’m experiencing. Which honestly, is no big deal at all. I mean, hey, I have plenty of people around and one little tiff isn’t going to change my life one way or another. Much.
Did I mention the object of my consternation is God? And let me tell you, that bastard is lousy at admitting when he’s been a jerk.
I’ve been skipping church. God and I are not on speaking terms right now. And sure, I can still go hang out at His house and just pretend things are cool, but I just haven’t been up for it lately. There’s enough mixed messages and broken promises in my life right now; I feel no particular need to pretend or make nicey-nice with someone who–let’s face it–is perfectly well aware that I am completely pissed at Him.
But today was different, because today was the very last service in our current church building. There’s a new building under construction, and the old facility has been sold. Today was not only my last chance to attend a service in that building, but I knew that a lot of folks I haven’t seen in a while might show up.
Also, I made the mistake of discussing it over the phone with a friend who was trying to talk me into coming… while Chickadee was eavesdropping. “This is the VERY LAST SUNDAY there?” she asked with wide eyes. “We will NEVER go there EVER AGAIN??”
I told myself it was for the children (specifically, for She Who Does Not Transition Well). And it would be like going to a PTA meeting when you know some woman who once let her kid shove your kid’s face into the sand at the park and said only “Now Billy, that wasn’t very nice, honey” will be there and you’ll just pretend you don’t see her. No problem. We would go to church, see our friends, say our goodbyes to the building, and God might be there or whatever, but I would be busy doing other stuff and tralala, I don’t see you over there.
What I didn’t know was that one of my favorite people whom I haven’t seen nor spoken to in a long time was going to be there. And I didn’t know that she was exactly the person I needed to see and that in our all-too-brief time together I would be given the explanation for her absence, and the promise to stay connected now. We both cried as we talked. I can’t say for her, obviously, but for me, it was a cathartic cry. I have spent the better part of this past week crying, and this was the first time it didn’t make me feel like I was about to split apart.
We said goodbye to the building where we’d met. We listened to our friends celebrate the past and look forward to the future with hope. We discussed visiting, SOON. My friend commented on how grown-up Chickadee looks and for a moment I saw my daughter through her eyes.
In a rush I saw the time that has been dragging so just zoom past. Without me.
It was like being given a beautiful bouquet of flowers, you know? It didn’t fix the underlying problem, and I’m not quite done being angry. But it was what I needed. It was a first step towards forgiveness… for both of us.
And that’s just SO like a man. Can’t just say, “Shit, I screwed up.” Even God would rather getcha something nice than come out and admit He was wrong. Still, a gift’s a gift.