seems like it’s been a month of particularly amazing reconcilliation moments for me. but this latest, which occured the other day when i was with my family, in line for tickets to nancy drew (which so completely sucked, but which my kids both loved), and i found myself in an embrace with a guy that both surprised me and brought with it a deep level of healing.
i should back up a bit.
a couple years ago i got tweaked by my understanding of the actions of two people, a married couple i knew of, but didn’t know personally. i didn’t have the whole story, but thought i had enough. and i was smokin’ ticked. so i blogged about it. i convinced myself of a few things:
1. the people i was writing about would never read my blog
2. i was righteous in my anger
3. and, i used (i told myself) uber-cryptic language, so no one would know exactly what i was talking about, even if they knew the situation.
i was completely wrong on all three counts. my “righteous anger” was only a 1/2 compound word off: it was self-righteous anger. and as that bubbling lowered to a mild simmer (my life wasn’t impacted even to a fraction of how their lives were impacted), the only thing i was really holding onto — ready? this is a seriously lame admission i’m about to make — was that my blog post didn’t need to be deleted, as it didn’t, technically, have anything inaccurate in it (actually, it had lots of inaccurate stuff, i later discovered).
a year and a half passed. and out of the blue i started getting that danged annoying nudging from god that i was supposed to seek reconciliation with these people i hardly even knew. and what became even more clear to me, as much as i tried to avoid it, was that i was being called to not defend myself even in the tiniest bit. no justification. no explanation. no “yeah, but….” no pointing out anything they had or hadn’t done.
it was hard. i don’t do that selfless thing well. i’m super-gifted at reminding people of their part in any conflict. but their hurt was so deep (mostly because of things about the story that had nothing to do with me). and it was clear that i had done nothing more than add to their pain. really add to it.
over a long coffee meeting, several months ago, they forgave me and we talked about the whole mess. really, this was the first i got to know these wonderful people a bit.
i’ve seen them in passing a few times since then, and it’s been friendly. but we haven’t had a chance to stop.
until we ran into each other in the theater ticket line the other day in the late afternoon. and, after a few nice words and greetings, just as we both turned back to face the ticket booth, the man turns back to me again and says, “you know what? i’d like to hug you.” or something like that. actually, i kinda missed the words, because i was so completely caught off guard by the beauty of the moment. right there in the ticket line in broad daylight. right in front of the ticket booth workers and a few other theater patrons.
it was one of those hugs that said thousands of words more than could have been verbally offered in a 2-minute passing moment.