learning faithfulness

August 23, 2011

I was thinking, the other day, that the things I have learnt from people who have loved me- I have learnt to do to others. Habits I’ve picked up, things I have learnt to pass on in my turn. Kirsten used to text me once every few days to check up on how I was, during the harrowing years. To see if I was okay, every few days, in the years I was unstable. She would instigate our meetings, and pray for me over texts. PM would feed me and let me sleep at her house, in her bed. She would lend me underwear and clothing, and let me stay at night, and she took me from my home once when I couldn’t stay, driving all the way out to Tawa at two in the morning to fetch me. She let me cry on her floor at three in the morning. They took care of me and loved me in deeds and in faithfulness, showing kindness and patience.

These are the things I remember most about university, between the rush of panic and the terror and determination that comes sometimes when I wake from dreams of things not handed in, things due, things I’ve failed and disappointed people in. The things people did for me when I needed help most- the smallest, most daily things, the everyday. Dishes done, beds made on a living room floor, days spent in someone else’s house. Clean underwear. Shampoo and conditioner. How are you, beautiful? Do you have time for coffee? They mattered. The faithfulness and the simple kindnesses, they mattered.

And now I am beginning to text others, more often now I remember faithfulness. Asking about their day, seeing if they’re okay. Checking up on wounded friends. Being there to listen. When I remember, as I am beginning to remember now- I plan to meet others, to be faithful in my friendships. I plan to do bible studies. I remember Kirsten planned and held a bible study with Becca and me over a whole summer, reading Revelations.

I have learned so much from the people who loved me, small habits that matter so much in loving others. Thank you God for these people! They were God to me, in that they showed me the love of God when I could not remember what love was. I remember being afraid of God about something, once, and then thinking- what would PM do in this situation? She would tell me it was okay and it would be. She would not be offended or upset, but would simply love me openly and wholeheartedly, and her kindness would make everything light again, give me relief in a place where I felt none and knew none. And I remember thinking that if PM loved me like that, then maybe God did too. Maybe God did too. Sometimes when it is hard to see the goodness of God, it is in the faces of the people who love him that we find something to trust. Something to hope for, to rest in.

thank you God for the people you have given me who have taught me how to love, and have loved me. Thank you for the things you are teaching me even now, and for the things people learn from me in my turn. We learn faithfulness from you. Give us strength and courage to continue this. Love you, God.

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