Marvin, one of my longest-lived friends (we’ve known each other for over 60 years), came for a visit. We hadn’t seen each other for some time. Only recently, had we talked by phone; and that, intermittently.
In either case, his visit and our sporadic conversations, it was his impetus that made it happen. I love Marvin. I like Marvin. Marvin loves and likes me. Yet I realize that I am not the best of friends.
Humans are complex creatures. As much as we may know about ourselves, there is more, I believe, that resides in the unconscious realm; thus, beyond the ready reach of our reasoned recognition.
So, too, for me. Still, one thing, I think I know…
It’s taken years for me to discern – looking at myself through the lenses of intense periods of therapy, moments of penetrating spiritual discernment, daily prayer and nakedly vulnerable introspection, and cleaving to the oft gently, but no less pointedly shared insightful judgments of those closest to me – that I, among many things, am “a professional extrovert.” In my vocational life, I am gregariously engaged with others. And, yes, my interactions are wholly sincere, yet my truest self finds fullest expression in times of solitude and silence. If there is a biblical personage with whom I most identify, it is Nathanael; who, before Jesus called him, sat under a fig tree, a place of quiet reflection.
Regarding my personal relationships, in a word, I can reach back, but I tend not to reach out.
Marvin came for a visit. Our few hours together – sharing age-old, aye, ageless memories, understanding wordless nods, raucous breathless laughter – constituted a “thin place” of Celtic Christian legend where the veil between the earthly and the heavenly, the human and the holy is lifted; where we, Marvin and I, could behold each other as we always are, always have been, and always will be: loved and accepted just as we are.
Thank God. Thank you, Marvin. Thank God for you.
© 2021 PRA
#relationships #beingloveandaccepted #justasweare #celticthinspace #professionalextroversion #nathanaelandthefigtree
 See John 1.43-51