I have come to understand another thing about myself over the years, and that is that I see things in pictures, in my head. My effort to express what I see has been through many different types of media over the years, one of which is in words. I recently met up with a new friend, Tim Bateman, who happens to have a degree in what’s called Oral History. I never knew there was such a thing as Oral History, but then as I looked around I found out I just haven’t known that’s what they call it. Much of the Bible was originally something passed down through the generations as spoken words that eventually were written down, for instance. My effort with this Blog, Ever Increasing Joy, is to record in words what has been going on in my life all these years. At one time or another I’ve told my story to various people, and as I write it down, I draw what I learned from those conversations. Don’t pass over that too quickly. It was in conversations with others that I discovered what happened in my life. There is a dynamic that happens between the listener and the speaker. A writer is writing, like I am now, but I am speaking TO somebody in particular, even though any and all can read this. That person I’m speaking to is my MUSE. Their interaction with me shapes what you eventually read here in my Blog. I talk so much at times that when the time comes to go I feel the need to say, “next time I’ll let you talk…” which is my sincerest hope. And, yes, I am laughing at myself, but I am in earnest when I say that.
One of the things I am praying God will deliver me from, and indeed he has already been at work in me on is hard to describe and yet easy at the same time. I want to just simply TELL my story, but I also desire to interact with others about their story and mine. The picture here is of two climbing a mountain together. I can’t get your body up the mountain, that’s your job. If I devote all my attention to YOU getting up the mountain, I won’t get anywhere, and if you leave all the decisions up to me, you’ll be dependent upon me, and when I’m not there, what then? Jesus promises to be with us always, he will never leave nor forsake us. But there is still our part, and his part. That’s a topic to explore in this context, and yet another tangent. How did we get this far away from that first panel? Thankfully this is a written conversation, and I can go back and see where we diverged.
I got away from the topic of that first panel, as I tried to express how I need others, and they need me, but there’s a very big difference to what most of us know that interaction to be. Parker Palmer’s book, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward and Undivided Life, talks about the rules in what’s known as a circle of trust.
No fixing, no saving, no advising, and no setting each other straight
We listen to each other’s stories, then we think about what the other person shared. We resist the cultural norm of venturing to fix, save, advise, or set that person straight. What we do instead is reflect on ourselves. I will not therefore try to re-write Palmer’s book. I’ve included it as a link there.