The Dance of Relationships



Today I delivered numerous thankyou cards and chocolates to the mailboxes of various Conservatory faculty members – in genuine gratitude for their contributions to my musical growth. I also took in a master class at 3 pm- watching from a distance, like a fly on the wall, hoping not to be noticed by the very ones that I hold in such esteem. And now I sit back wondering why I feel compelled to engage in life and relationships from such a distance. As I sit here, I am listening to a Red Cross volunteer describe a monthly giving program through the telephone receiver at my left ear. I am amazed at how easy it is to give money and yet feel so empty- because there is no flesh and blood to press it into. I accept a pledge package, but somehow it is not the same. Some disembodied voice at the other end of the phone tells me of needs so overwhelming- the relative pittance that I give does not carry the stamp of my character- it is merely a number on some accountants sheet. It makes no difference that I already give to numerous ‘other’ charities- no one keeps track or cares whether I impoverish myself in the process of electronic giving. This is totally different from the experience of looking someone in the eye with a smile as you freely impart a gift into their hand- a little piece of one’s own self, a slice of visibly transparent humanity.
There is safety in anonymity, but also great loneliness. I feel like I am viewing life through a very thick glass- too afraid to really be touched or to touch. I sit here reading “Tuesdays with Morrie” and tears run like rivers down my cheeks, while my sinuses protest with violent histamines to my strong display of emotion. Mitch Albom seems to have discovered some ancient truth- that we really are created in the image of God, and that indeed “it is not good to be alone”. Our living and our dying are played out on the stage of relationships. The things or people that we value most in this life leave signatures indelibly stamped on our souls. Family. Faith. Connections to people. Connections to the Divine. It is not good enough to be a spectator in life- to be only a voice on the other end of the phone, or an electronic signal spinning through cyberspace. One needs to be open to the awesome mystery of knowing and being known by another. The Shekhina (Holy Spirit) hovers over the interchange between living breathing persons who take the risk of revealing and accepting themselves and the other. The ‘community theme’ resonates from the micro to the macroscopic world- a single cell must divide and become multicellular before it can reach viability. We need each other. Why is it so plain and yet so pathetically difficult?
“Beloved, let us love each other- for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (IJohn4:7-8)

One thought on “The Dance of Relationships

  1. This is so true. We can get so hung up over little things, insecurities of whatever sort, that make us think that we cannot be loved. And there are so many things in the world that tell us that we should not trust others to truly love them, and that we shouldn’t get too close, we shouldn’t love too unselfishly or too unconditionally, because that makes us vulnerable, and we might suffer loss. It makes it hard to give love if one cannot accept it. One of the most amazing things I realized during my epiphany was that now I would have the gift of relationships- healthy relationships, where I would not be feeding off of others unhealthily wherever they could stoop up my insecurities, but could see them as they are and respect them and love them as children of God to the point of dying for them.Lord, have mercy on us! May He continue to heal us that we may accept His love, give love, and in giving receive. May we be overcome with love of His love. Have a nice week Josie!Thank you again for dinner on Valentine’s Day, and for making me feel loved 🙂 God bless you.

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