A History Major’s Rant

This semester, as I engage with the texts of the past, I’ve been struggling on an emotional level with the material I’ve been reading for courses.

It is so hard to be so steeped in humanity’s failures, to see the death and dying, to see the fighting and the drinking and the drugs effect so many people’s lives. It’s hard to read about the destruction of the earth and other people so someone could make a quick buck. It’s hard to read about people dying brutal, bloody deaths, inflicted by other people. It’s hard to read about the injustices committed because of race, or gender, or people group. It’s hard to see the broken Imago Dei in the past, without looking away.

People come to my major because they think that History is an easy “A.” They think it’s about memorizing facts, names, dates. That’s not what it’s about, and I’m reminded of that every semester. It’s easy to lose sight of the people behind those names and dates, the ones who made this world we’re in now what it is.

Some days, I just want to find peace, love, joy. I long for a restoration from this broken reality. That’s the hope of Christ, and I can’t imagine doing my job without it. I don’t think I could do my job without it.

All of this is to say, it’s easy to say that hurtful thing. I know, I’ve done it repeatedly. But hurt people hurt people. In five words, that’s my summary of history. Guys, I’ve come to treasure those moments where people show kindness, no matter how small. It’s not the stuff that’s often remembered in history texts, and it seems like it’s far outweighed at the time. But it’s the stuff that makes us human. It’s the stuff that keeps us going. We can’t keep on like this. If we profess to be image bearers, then aren’t we called to reflect the goodness that God is? Even a little light can be bright in the darkness.

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Friendships (Don’t Be Me)

I looked up today and realized that I was firmly and irrevocably on the outside of what used to be two of my dearest friendships. And it breaks my heart.

You see, I’m not entirely innocent. I have this brutal temper, and it tends to emerge when I’m stressed out of my mind, like I was about a month ago. I made some deep wounds, because I was hurting. little did I know that the wounds I inflicted were actually on myself, when I thought I was lashing out at air.

I know this about myself. And I thought that my friends knew that. So I assumed we’d be okay at the end of the day.

We aren’t. They view me like I’m some kind of monster, a stranger who will verbally destroy anyone who dares disagree. They’re still friends, it’s just me who’s on the other side, outside in the cold.

They say I won’t listen, but they don’t speak.

This is being written after an attempt on my part at patching things up. But nothing’s been done on their part to make amends. At least, nothing that I’m aware of.

They claimed to be concerned about me, but I don’t believe that they really are. That suggests an active attempt to help, to care, to be there, and they were not there when I felt like my world was falling apart.

All of this has left me redefining what a real friendship is. And I’m incriminating myself as well as them by everything I say after this.

Friendship is what happens when two people choose to love and care for each other for no reason other than a genuine enjoyment of the other’s company. It’s a bond that, in some cases, is deeper than anything blood can create. It’s an acceptance of the other person for who they are, and a choice to stay by their side when the world is falling apart around their ears.

Friendship is patience, it is love, it is laughter and loyalty. Friendship is crying and comforting and protecting. Friendship is understanding.

I can point fingers in all directions to show the failures of these, ESPECIALLY IN ME. Because even though this is my ideal of what friendship is, I am still human and I still fail. And, even if you don’t know me, you must know that although I hold myself to impossible standards (see some of my previous posts for more insight), I realize that no one else will live by them.

The break down in these two friendships began because of poor communication. They broke down because I hit a boiling point, and let all of the ugly out. I made assumptions, and I was wrong.

They doubt the sincerity of my apologies because of the way I behaved to try to survive. They didn’t care that there’s more to the story.

I find myself becoming resigned to this whole situation. It’s just another day in my life. Another friendship gone.

On the off chance that they’re reading this, that they’ve made it to the end of this article, they’ve heard me speak my piece. The ball is in your court. You know who you are, and you know your options.

For the rest of you reading this, treasure your friends, and choose your words carefully. Be cautious about hitting send. Don’t be me.

Show

When I don’t feel safe in my own place,

when my heart has been broken again,

you are always here to help me up.

I’m not good at returning the favor,

and I only know how to hurt others,

so I fail them again and again.

Just once I want to be there for you.

Just once I want to show that I care,

To be there just once when it counts.

Will this be my just once?

Will you let me be there?

Will I know how to show it?

To show that I care?

I don’t ever want to be the cause

For you to walk away from here.

I don’t know how to show it-

I’d scream it from the hilltop.

Just tell me how to show care.

Tell me how to show my love.

Don’t focus on me when you hurt.

Let me pour my love on you.

~9-27-2013~