Monday, June 30, 2008
Taking a Fresh Look at Familiar Faces
I forget what it's called, I even forget what book I was reading that mentioned it. Something on relationships, friendships. It basically explained that we meet someone, and as we get to know them in those first impression stages, we put a label on them, define them, if you will. They are 'romantic', or not so much; they are spontaneous, or a bit of a stick in the mud. They're prone to quick judgments or stating their opinion loud and clear, or they're a bit of a wall flower, keeping thoughts to themselves. They're the life of the party, or a bit dull to spend time with.

Whatever the label (and don't we have a load of them), it tends to stick. In spite of time spent together, getting to see more sides of this person, mentally we don't make the shift. Whatever the first label, they tend to live with it forever, whether they want it to or not, whether they even deserve it or not.

I've earned a label with girlfriends for 'not being a romantic' because The Bachelor just is not my cup of tea. I've tried to like it. I go to the season's kick-off party, eat the nachos and salsa, take notes with everyone else, set my tivo at home to record the following episodes and never do watch it. I've also planned (and paid for) several weddings, so wedding talk doesn't interest me much either. That doesn't make me anti-romance. I can sit through a good chick-flick with the best of them.

My dayplanner is filled out, up to next June. I like to know the plan, remember birthdays and schedule my days so they're not all packed to the gills. I earned the label of 'non-spontaneous. That's not really me, and if you phone me with a great offer of lunch, or coffee, or walking the trail I'm pretty apt to join you. Still the label sticks to me.

After some time of being aggravated over this, I began to take a look in the mirror. Don't I do the same? That woman who has been opinionated, hers differing from mine (and if it was the same would I possibly have just seen her as standing up for what she believes in?), don't I label her? How about that friend or aquaintance who I've labeled as 'talks too much', or 'a bit ditzy', or 'gives, but in measured amounts'? Could I not wear all those labels on given days?

I'm so anxious for others to take fresh looks at me, to see me in a new light, a better light. Realizing I need to do the same with others - I believe we'd call it 'extending grace', or maybe even just being a good enough friend to give everyone around me a new chance at who they are trying to become, that doesn't come so easily. But it's sure worth working at, praying for God's help for it become a bit more second-nature. Sanctification - in daily doses - will do the trick.


  posted at 4:34 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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