"A friend is one before whom you may think aloud."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have a small handful of friends that I can actually "think aloud" to, well actually I have quite a few //Ming takes a moment to roughly figure out how many// maybe 7-- 10 at the most. That's not a ton mind you; but considering the things that go on in my head I'm rather surprised that, that many people are still willing to be friends with me--even after knowing my thoughts. Or perhaps I've scared them so badly that they simply tolerate me for fear of what I might do...that is actually a more believable explanation.
My friend Lauren Abe and I went and traversed Northlake together yesterday because she is leaving on a mission trip to go to New Orleans tomorrow and I sadly won't see her for quite some time. Probably upwards of a week. We hadn't hung out like that in a while so it was kind of quiet at first, well it wasn't quiet, it just was kind of casual conversation. After hanging out for a while though we started talking and I started thinking aloud while in Borders leaning up against a shelf in the children's section, while Lauren read random books like Pete Spit a Seed at Sue to lighten up the moments.
At Panera's for dinner, over my soup and Lauren's PB&J we discussed how experiences shape our view of things, even biblical things. And how there are times we wish we could just go to the Bible with unadulterated thoughts and mindsets, shedding negative feelings and just being able to embrace it in it's rawest form, and questioning between glasses of water and ice tea, if the things that we do--even the "good godly" things are because it's what God wants us to do, or could it maybe be because of man and man's tradition. Also over my apple and her yogurt we talked about life and how you really never know what's going to happen next. It was all together enjoyable.
She puts up with me and my thoughts, no matter how outlandish, crazy, and un-status quo type thoughts they are.
And you know what people, she listens. She doesn't come to me with an agenda, she doesn't try to find something wrong with what I say, she isn't looking for something to be wrong. She just listens. Then gives me her honest opinion. The people in this world that truly listen are getting fewer and farer between it seems to me. I'm fortunate to know quite a few that are left though.
But to those people who read this who I don't know very well, but are listeners. Thanks. Thanks for listening to people, and there's a difference between hearing people and listening to people. Trust me there's a world of difference.
And remember to thank God that he's a listening God...He's amazing.